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Into the Blue Again

The Album Leaf

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Album Review

From the beginning, Jimmy LaValle's Album Leaf project was one of the calmest acts in indie rock. Into the Blue Again proves, as its 2004 predecessor did as well, that the Album Leaf is also becoming one of the tamest acts in indie rock. LaValle is a musical craftsman, and his productions are thoughtful, economical and warm (most of the record was performed by him alone). Like Sigur Rós, whose studio and string section he's used in the past, LaValle understands the power of muted arrangements, of ringing chords, and of drawing out those chords to exactly the right length before repeating them or moving on. These elements could have easily resulted in a great record, but Into the Blue Again isn't great, or even very good. While ambient music with relatively straight-ahead percussion has been a mainstay of indie music from Eno to Black Dog to Sigur Rós themselves, those who have excelled with it have had something interesting to focus on, such as Eno's melodic sense, Black Dog's otherworldly effects, or Sigur Rós' unorthodox instrumentation and use of building dynamics. LaValle's take on ambient music isn't particularly diverting; his melodies are broad and familiar, his drum programming is bland and bar-band-formulaic (that applies also to his compatriot here, Telefon Tel Aviv's Joshua Eustis), and his vocals are depressive and resigned. Most of Into the Blue Again is instrumental, and it serves well as background music — never sticking out, floating by the listener — but unlike his earlier recordings, there's little here that rewards close listening.

Customer Reviews


THIS is the music I crave, THIS is the music that is the soundtrack of my life. If you like Sigur Ros and Boards of Canada mixed with a bit of Godspeed You Black Emporer... you will fall in love with this band. I adore it. I also found out about them on YouTube... and Im so glad I discovered them... this album is the oasis in the musical 'desert' i've been in... truly beautiful music. Thank you iTunes, and thank you The Album Leaf


What amazing music, worth the cost. Headphones a many layers

Quite Beautiful

The review supplied here from iTunes is...not nice or at all fair. This is beautiful music. I already own "In A Safe Place" ('Eastern Glow' is brilliant.) I was in the store browsing around and was pleasantly surprised to find this (argh! it's been here for awhile.) As expected, this album is largely instrumental and all of it is stunning, mesmerizing and dreamy. I can listen to it's mellow but not's's totally contemplative music. Songs with lyrics are: Always for You, Wherever I Go & Writings on the Wall. Writings is my absolute favourite along with Red-Eye...just brilliant. Entirely awesome and will stand the test of time for sure. Cheers.


Formed: 1999 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Album Leaf is the solo project of Jimmy LaValle, a San Diego-based songwriter who began recording solo material one year after forming the post-rock band Tristeza. Inspired by a number of genres — classical, jazz, and post-rock among them — LaValle constructed his own songs in a similarly eclectic manner, utilizing everything from ambient noise to field recordings to radio transmissions. An Orchestrated Rise to Fall introduced the resulting sound in 1999. An EP (In an Off White Room)...
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