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Monday, June 1, 2009

Carbon Leaf

Nothing Rhymes With Woman (Vanguard)

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Not many words may rhyme with "woman," but the Virginia-based quintet Carbon Leaf still finds plenty to say on its eighth CD. Treading the squiggly line between indie rockers and jam band, the appeal of these casual dudes-particularly verbose vocalist/lyricist Barry Privett-lies in their ability to not get too worked up about anything, even the ravages of cancer, as depicted on the accordion-and-strings-enhanced ballad "Pink." While only a handful of tracks ("Indecision," "Miss Hollywood") approach the immediate appeal of songs on the group's 2004 breakthrough, Indian Summer, Carbon Leaf still provides memorable moments with the bluesy swagger of "Another Man's Woman," the Skynyrd-style guitars in "Meltdown" and multi-part harmonies on "Seed." Inoffensive and safe, the music of Carbon Leaf flutters by smooth and easy.

Carbon Leaf will perform with label mates The Alternate Routes at Shank Hall on June 8.