The Album Leaf: Into the Blue Again

From the sound of the opening track "The Light" on The Album Leaf’s new, album Into the Blue Again, it would be forgivable to expect a sort of reigned in Sigur Ros.  But when track two rolls around, listeners are instead greeted with a dark electropop offering vaguely reminiscent of Pedro the Lion.  While the next eight tracks never fully dispel those comparisons, they never let them take over either, and Jimmy Lavalle (who essentially is The Album Leaf) takes the listener on a sweeping melodic ride through largely instrumental landscapes of gentle and hopeful gloom. 

Generally, albums full of instrumental tracks can seem rather doomed from the beginning, but in Into the Blue Again’s case, it works splendidly.  This is partly because the vocals tend to be a little less than exciting and partly because the songs without vocals work so well, that they seem almost unnecessary.  That’s not to say they detract from the album, though.  The multiple vocals bring a nice change of pace to the overall arc of the effort. and in the process leaves the listener with that ever elusive “enough to grab, but not enough to fully satisfy” quality.  In other words, Lavalle has hit the nail right on the head.

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