Indian Summer Review

artist: Carbon Leaf date: 07/07/2007 category: compact discs
Carbon Leaf: Indian Summer
Release Date: Jul 13, 2004
Label: Vanguard
Genres: Jam Bands, Folk-Rock, Celtic Pop, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
A solid entry into the mainstream, Indian Summer seems to promise more good things from Carbon Leaf.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.5
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reviews (2) user comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Indian Summer Reviewed by: expendabletom, on june 02, 2006
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Sound: Carbon Leaf's music style is completally different than anything I had ever heard before. They really don't fit into one genre, if you haven't heard them I highly suggest you get this album, or just go to their website or myspace to hear one or two of their songs. This album is different in alot of ways from their previous albums, I have to say the much lower use of mandelin left me a little dissapointed. I first saw Carbon Leaf at my high school years ago, and was a fan but could never find any of their cds, this one has been in every music store I have ever been in, so it's easy to pick up, they've come a long long way from the first time I heard them. // 9

Lyrics: I have to say the lyrics blew me away. The first song I heard from this album was "What About Everything?" and I knew I had to get the album then. The lyrics are amazing. Barry Privett's voice is beautiful, his singing is best brought out in this album. Perticurly in "When I'm Alone." I think the album is ten times better in the second half, starting with "Paloma." // 10

Overall Impression: 01. Life Less Ordinary - what a great song to start an album with, it starts soft and light and slowly picks up, adding instruments, getting louder, etc. Everything blends really well together to make a great sound 02. What About Everything? - this was the first song I ever heard from this album, I actually heard a recorded live version. The chorus was stuck in my head constantly. The lyrics question life in general. My favorite part "I find it hard to complain when compaired with, what about everything?" The best part about this song is the lyrics. 03. Changless - the last time I saw Carbon Leaf Barry said "hang onto your friends" right before he started singing. Honestly this is not my favorite song on the album, I tend to skip it. The hope in this song is that you will hold onto the friends you knew back in high school/college. Like I said, not my favorite song, but it is calm and laid back; good mellowish song (probably why it's not my favorite). 04. This Is My Song! - I love the riff in this song. A nice quirky tune, a little random. 05. Grey Sky Eyes - love this song. Another good laidback song, the style is different than most Carbon Leaf stuff from their previous albums, good to see something a little different. 06. Raise The Roof - the album version of this song is alright, but it's nothing compaired to hearing it live, to truly hear this song, it has to be live. The lyrics aren't very impressive, but the solo(which is awesome live) gives this song its edge. 07. Paloma - this song is one of my favorites on the album. The lyrics are great. The bass line is awesome. The song feels a bit more like what I would expect to hear from Carbon Leaf in their previous albums, but at the same time it's new and different. The little touch of tin whistle at the end is nice. The lyrics are deep and have a story behind them (it's described on their website or blog or something). 08. One Prarie Outpost - I love the guitar part in this song. The harmony is great. I love the lyrics "so much for peace and tranquilty" 09. Let Your Troubles Roll By - my favorite song. It's simple (look at the tab and listen to the song, it should take you about two seconds to figure it out) but despite that its incredible. The lyrics are amazing. Simply put, a great song. 10. When I'm Alone - almost my favorite song from the album. This song has my favorite lyrics "we offer up our heart before the heart's invited or asked for." 11. The Sea - this is a beautiful song, and the longest on the CD. I've put this one on repeat before. I wish someone would tab this song. The perfect song to end this album with. If this was stolen I'd buy another copy, and if it got stolen again, I'd buy another copy, on and on. I'd be happy knowing whoever kept stealing the album like it so much. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Indian Summer Reviewed by: NoLeafMetal, on july 07, 2007
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Sound: This might on, first glance, seem to have been "done before". The Pogues and Dropkick Murphies both mixed celtic folk with popular rock'n'roll. Acoustic guitars backing up distorted licks was the very recipe for the alt-rock power ballads of the '90s. But Carbon Leaf have more tricks than these up their sleeves, my friend. Both country, Bryan Adams-flavoured pop-rock and '60s folk-rock (particularly Simon and Garfunkel) have been mixed into this astonishing album. There are no apparent templates to this record. Each song seems to be stuctured differently, the guitars, mandolins and similar vary refreshingly. The seamless transitions from something Vertical Horizon could have made to something Loreena McKennitt could've come up with, are simply superb. // 9

Lyrics: Apparently, all the band's lyrics are written by singer Barry Privett, who in turn does not interfer with the instrumental part of the equation. Privett is in today's world one of a kind. His lyrics are introverted, contemplative, but in contrast to, for example, Ryan Adams, hopeful, light-hearted and positive. "Life Less Ordinary" is wonderful in this aspect, as the theme of the song is unrequited love; instead of moaning about it, as is the norm among today's alt-rock and punk singers, Privett seems quite optimistic about the situation and understands very well the girl in question, asking her to change her mind, instead of begging her to. His lyrics are so sophisticated, warm and poetic that I can only compare him to Paul Simon; sadly, there are no contemporaries. As for Privett's voice, it is so warm, tender and pretenseless, you almost wish you were his kid so you could fall asleep with his lullaby renditions in you ears. A tenor with no apparent accent or style, his voice is the perfect instrument for the strong, beautiful lyrics and his bandmates' musical backdrop. It is truly refreshing to hear melodies that sound very country or folk, conveyed by someone without Irish brogue or a Texan accent. // 10

Overall Impression: Here are my 5 "Indian Summer" favourites: 5. Life Less Ordinary - mostly because of the incredibly original take on the theme in the lyrics, and the cool guitar fill before the chorus, this one is stuck in my head. 4. This Is My Song! - the most upbeat, rocking track, and also the one with the most Gaelic influence. 3. When I'm Alone - a very heart-wrenching melody backed up by some of the softest guitarwork on the record. "Thought you were bluffing/Trampled on you/Went from friends to nothing" 2. Let Your Troubles Roll Away - an "Everybody Hurts" that makes you smile instead of cry. If there ever is a Hippie renaissance, this would be the ideal soundtrack. 1. Changeless - the opening bass-line and march drums stand out on this album, and the rest of the song is absolutely mesmerising in it's honesty and humanity; it isn't about love and death, it's about friendship and taking a deep breath before stepping into the future. Carbon Leaf is the most under-rated and under-played band in the world right know. Indian Summer is their first master piece; hopefully, whatever trends that are keeping this kind of music out of the mainstream will vanish, and the Virginians will get the recognition they deserve. // 10

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