The Album Leaf Conjure Eno, Tangerine Dream on ‘Between Waves’ (ALBUM REVIEW)


albumleafbetweenThe Album Leaf don’t make music of the Saturday night variety. Their’s is not the type of music that can get a crowd on its feet or keep them buzzing until the very wee hours. On the other hand, when it’s time chill down in morning after repose, it’s ideal, courtesy of soothing soundscapes that offer melodious shifts in tone and texture without any obtrusive overtures.  Heavily influenced by the ambient stylings of Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Weather Report and others whose music is well suited to simulating sensual suggestion or marking a mood, mainstay Jimmy LaValle sketches delicate melodic passages that shift and sway with delicate finesse.

LaValle is well versed in this technique, having gained expertise in film scoring, creating sound collages and electronic elocution. Nevertheless, marks a major milestone. The Album Leaf’s first full band effort in six years, it allows LaValle to claim credit for the concept even though it’s a group effort entirely. The ominous evocation summoned forth in “Glimmering Lights,” the slow build of “False Dawn,” the sensuous trappings of “Back to the Start” and the euphoric ambiance that underscores each of these selections overall create a trippy dynamic that drifts along pleasantly despite having no real traction. This is music for quiet contemplation and effortless engagement, and in that regard, it all resonate quite well.

Still, subtlety is the key here, and those who desire something deeper to explore will probably want to resort to headphones or earbuds in order to uncover the more subtle nuances that reside deeper in the mix. A steady pulse provides the pacing, but it’s mostly a quiet shimmer that brings those sounds to the fore. By turns ethereal and evocative, Between Waves creates a sound that’s sumptuous, sensual and flush with fascination.


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