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Carbon Leaf
Love. Loss. Hope. Repeat.
Vanguard Records

Carbon Leaf has always been a band that evokes rather strong feelings among its listeners, sometimes causing them to reel in ecstasy and joy, other times allowing them to drop into a deep empathic sadness. On their latest release Love. Loss. Hope. Repeat. Carbon Leaf seemingly turns the page on the relationship that was budding and struggling on their previous record, the incredible Indian Summer. Whereas the songs on Indian Summer were excited and energetic, and at other times reflective and hopeful, this new set of songs mourns the loss of a relationship passing… but with a bit of hope for what may yet come.

And that is the strongest power that Carbon Leaf possesses. Their music conveys an incredible sense of hope. From their earliest recordings (like Shadows In The Banquet Hall) into their Celtic tinged rock (Echo Echo) to their newest release, the band has always had a very positive outlook, and a sound that lifts the spirit. "Learn To Fly" is a perfect example of this odd dichotomy, when lyricist Barry Privett states "I awoke this morning/with pouring rain in my heart/ as I fall apart today/ But you make your way, and I'll rise/ I will rise, if in my mind". This sort of resolved spirit is laced throughout the songs of this amazing band, and buoyed by the music as it lifts the soul ever higher. "Love Loss Hope Repeat" is a mantra for the disenchanted, once more giving hope where there may have been none before. Privett continues to explore humanity and its fickle nature on songs like "A Girl And Her Horse" and then tackles the damage left by conflicts on both personal and global scales in "The War Was In Color".

While Love. Loss. Hope. Repeat. doesn't contain the same wildly dynamic sound that has been found on their previous outings, the songs carry a mature weight that makes the album more important than their older songs. The lyrical content is poetic and mature, tackling humanity and social nature from a nice angle, without ever sounding trite or contrived. None of these songs leaps out of the speakers like "Life Less Ordinary" did when I first hear it. Instead, Carbon Leaf lays back a bit and lets the words do all the carrying of weight, while backing the poetry with some of the finest modern pop music I've heard in years.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Learn To Fly
2. Love Loss Hope Repeat
3. Under The Wire
4. Royal One
5. A Girl And Her Horse
6. Texas Stars
7. Block Of Wood
8. Comfort
9. The War Was In Color
10. Bright Lights
11. International Airport

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