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Album Review

The Leaves are to Sigur Rós as Coldplay is to Radiohead — the Icelandic band traffics in similarly epic rock, but packages it in a safe, less challenging form for the masses. That's not to say that Breathe isn't good — on the contrary, it's a propulsive album that moves from deep atmospheres ("I Go Down"), to a shimmering, Doves-like groove ("Catch"), to the best type of Coldplay balladry (the title track). But, despite solid songwriting, glimmering production, and a broad palette of emotions, Breathe shows the Leaves' potential more than anything else. This record seems destined to be lauded and quickly forgotten — like Starsailor's Love Is Here and JJ72's self-titled debut — until the band can prove itself to indie hipsters and critics with an innovative sophomore release. It's simply just not as striking as its peers, from the Doves' two brilliant albums to Sigur Rós' mind-blowing indie prog. [The 2003 re-release features the bonus tracks "We" and "Favour."]

Customer Reviews

This CD is in my top 10!!!

Their sound is impecable. The lyrics, the vocals, everything. I wish there were more albums, but if you like Coldplay you will fall in love with this band!

Tragic that they've been lost in the shuffle

I was lucky enough to have been exposed to this album. Yes, they sound similar to Doves, and the Coldplay similarity is there--but this band has done something special, and this album grows to becoming one that you can't imagine life without. Truly a special album. For the severe Leaves dweeb, check out their follow-up, available as an import. It's called The Angela Test, and totally worth seeking.

Leaves should not Leave

Great alblum with a wide arangment of songs that pull you in. Even the song "WE" makes you want to sit back and enjoy the summer night. This alblum and this band is well produced and differant enough to be interesting among other bands such as Coldplay and the Doves. Check it out!


Formed: 2001 in Reykjavik, Iceland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Arnar Gudjonsson (vocals/guitar), Hallur Hallsson (bass), and Arnar Olaffson comprise the Icelandic indie rock group Leaves. Taking their name from the Nick Drake album Five Leaves Left, Leaves originated in Iceland's capital city during summer 2001. Gudjonsson had been holed up in a red house writing songs, and once Hallsson joined him, Leaves came to life. By October, the trio had several songs under their belts and played their first live show, an 800-crowd gig at a local art gallery. Looking...
Full Bio
Breathe, Leaves
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Customer Ratings