Although there are more than two months remaining in 2006, I am pretty sure my favorite album of 2006 is "Love Loss Hope Repreat," the latest release from Carbon Leaf.
I can't say enough great things about this disc, which somehow blends a bunch of legendary sounds and influences into something new. The Byrds-tinged 12-string guitar on "Learn to Fly" and the early-R.E.M. vibe on "Under the Wire" seem somewhat obvious, but there is something very refreshing and timeless about all the music here. So many of the songs explode with infectious hooks, but this is not power pop where the melodies hit you over the head. But it's hard not to hit repeat after "A Girl and Her Horse" or "Texas Stars" or even the introspective "The War Was in Color" end.
A truly great disc. Released by Vanguard Records, Carbon Leaf's "Love Loss Hope Repeat" is a great album.