The progressive bluegrass sound that Nickel Creek pioneered more than a decade ago has surfaced all over mainstream music in recent years, with everyone from Mumford & Sons to the Civil Wars walking through the doors they flew open with their innovative musicianship. So the coolest thing about “Destination” is that they’re not picking up where they left off. Rather, this is what one could imagine Nickel Creek doing once everybody else caught up to what they used to be doing: moving on, and pushing forward with fresh new sounds.
“Destination” is the most alive record I’ve heard so far this year. There’s a rush of energy that was always present in their live act, as opposed to their more measured sound on record. Enjoy it now. You’re going to be sick of hearing records that sound like this by artists not quite as good for the next few years, where the songwriting won’t be as sharp, the harmonies won’t be as haunting, and the mandolin won’t be as proudly prominent.
The real thing is back. Accept no substitutes.