Nickel Creek

This collection of contemporary bluegrass tunes showcases the virtuoso-level playing of the band’s young members. First to take flight is "Ode to a Butterfly," a spritely instrumental by mandolinist Chris Thile that conveys the ephemeral, flitting beauty of its topic. The lyrics on other original compositions, such as Thile and Adam McKenzie’s "The Lighthouse’s Tale" strive for a traditional flavor, but have a tendency to more closely resemble the musings of a sophisticated junior high school poet. A heartfelt adaptation of the Robert Burns poem, "Sweet Afton," with a melody by Thile showcases his plaintive vocal with a nicely interwoven violin by Sara Watkins. The production, by Alison Krause, is understated, showcasing the talent of the players.