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Loss, Hope, Repeat
Author: Carbon Leaf
Label: Vanguard Records
Time: 11 Tracks 47:48
Richmond, Virginia based band Carbon Leaf have made a career out of playing to the underground of the music world. Very little radio success has left this band with a strong cult following, but very little mainstream radio listener attention. This is a complete shame, because these guys are just flat out talented! They combine, rock, folk, country, pop, and a little blues together to make a solid mid-90’s era sound. If you like bands and artists like The Counting Crows, Pete Yorn, Farewell June, Wilco, Deep Blue Something, Uncle Tupelo, Derek Webb, The Crash Test Dummies, Son Volt, and even the Vigilantes of Love, you will be sure to enjoy this band.
Love, Loss, Hope, Repeat open with “Learn To Fly” an incredible combination of jangly guitars and the crisp, beautifully unique singing growl of lead singer and songwriter Barry Privett. His voice fits perfectly with the style of Carbon Leaf’s music, and this is showcased in this song very well. The song is about recovering from a loss in a relationship.
The title track features some catchy slide guitar that segways into a great acoustic based tune. This song is about how life seems to go in a constant cycle, a cycle of love, followed by loss, which is ultimately conquered by hope, and then starts all over again with love. It also features a fun line: “I love more than I’ll ever let on/And that’s a fault of mine I’m working on.”
“Under the Wire” sounds like it would make a very solid single. It would sound perfect between Rob Thomas and the Goo Goo Dolls on today’s top 40 radio. Great guitar work and strong lyrics punctuate this song as well.
“A Girl and Her Horse” is about a young jockey who works as a perfect combination with her horse when they race.
“Texas Stars” features a southern rock and roll vibe, while “Block of Wood” features a mandolin and slide guitars for very country sounding tune, in a gorgeous song about pain, loss and grief. It’s about not being able to do anything but help someone cry when they are grieving. This is one of the sensitive moments on the album. The same goes for “Comfort” as well.
“The War Was In Color” is simply off the page. This song is one of the top three songs of 2006. Period. It tells the story of World War II from the perspective of a Grandfather to his Grandson. It is very powerful, and features a very stunning twist at the end that I will not spoil for you. Just try to hear this song somehow!
“International Airport” is the closing shot on this album, and it does it’s job providing a bit of a ballad type tune that settles this incredible album into a fine conclusion.
Barry Privett and company have turned out one of the best records of their career thus far, so I can safely say that this album is the best album from 2006 that I didn’t hear until 2007!
James Morovich 2/25/2007