Carbon Leaf

Carbon Leaf

Carbon Leaf

Nothing Rhymes With Woman

Vanguard Records

The acoustic alt-country of Carbon Leaf has done nothing to set them apart from other like-sounding artists, but on their third Vanguard release, Nothing Rhymes With Woman, the band shows not only how to make some of the best music in the genre, but also how to get lost in the pack.

The mid-tempo opener “Indecision” is a perfect beginner as it creates the perfect balance of country and contemporary pop and showcases just how good the band can be.

The best song is “Another Man’s Woman” which is lyrically what a country song should be and musically, the band adds a little contemporary pop to the heavy beat as they collectively sing the chorus, “I fell in love with another man’s woman/ Another man’s woman’s got a hold on me.” It’s also where you find the album title in the line “It’s no surprise that nothin’ rhymes with woman.”

“Miss Hollywood” is a decent radio-friendly hit which could crossover onto either the pop or country airwaves, and “Cinnamindy” has enough weight to warrant repeated listens. But just like labelmate The Alternate Routes’ latest album, Carbon Leaf does fall prey to generic country-pop, which is what tends to happen to a lot of alt-country artists. “What Have You Learned?,” “Mexico,” “Drops of Rain,” and “Snowfall Music” all are forgettable, but Toby Lightman’s guest spot on “Meltdown” saves that song from joining the generic drivel of the others.

Nothing Rhymes With Woman may not be an album that can be consistently listened to from beginning to end, but there is enough here to make this a solid album and prove that Carbon Leaf is one of alt-country’s best bands.

Carbon Leaf: www.carbonleaf.com

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