Indian Summer (Vanguard Records)
By: Alex Steininger
On previous efforts Carbon Leaf has created a Celtic-roots-rock hybrid. However, on Indian Summer, though it is still there, they have played it down a lot, leaving the Celtic and roots behind to deliver an adult contemporary pop-rock sound that seems made for radio. Quite polished and well produced, they seemed primed for bigger things, but in doing so their strongest parts, their Celtic and roots influences, seem to play a lesser role. When they're up front and present, the band sounds lively and alive. When they're gone or pushed back in the mix, the band sounds bland and generic. The album walks this line throughout, mixing half-and-half. Therefore, it's got some strong tracks and some bland ones, making it an interesting listen - and one that the skip bottom comes into play on. I'll give it a C.
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