Carbon Leaf

Love Loss Hope Repeat

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    6
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Pitched somewhere between John Mayer's earnestness and the genial hacky-sack-on-the-quad pop of the Dave Matthews Band, Carbon Leaf have made it to their seventh album on an abundance of sunny good vibes and a relative paucity of genuinely interesting musical ideas. Produced by British pure-pop master Peter Collins (responsible for hits by everyone from Tracey Ullman to Bon Jovi), Love Loss Hope Repeat is utterly faultless AAA-radio pop. There are hooks aplenty, especially in first single "Learn to Fly" and the gimmicky Matchbox 20-style pop/rock of the title track, and singer Barry Privett has a smoothly appealing voice that's the band's best feature by far. However, there's no real spark of personality on this perfectly arranged, pristinely recorded album. The songs are tuneful but bland, the musical equivalent of a chain-restaurant pizza: tasty and comfortingly familiar (and no doubt quite handy to have around the dorm when the munchies strike), but completely forgettable.

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