It’s been almost a year since the Album Leaf released their last album “Into the Blue,” but that doesn’t mean that we’ll be seeing a new disc anytime soon. The Album Leaf isn’t a normal indie-rock-pop band, there’s something more to this band… and also something less.
Electronic beats bumping up against a xylophone, bumping up against distorted harmonies, bumping up against classically played strings is to be expected from The Album Leaf… lyrics are not however. On “Into the Blue” only about half of the songs have distinguishable lyrics, but for some reason this album isn’t what I would expect from an album that is carried so much by instrumentals. It’s not that the lyrics are not important or beautiful or artistic, it is just that if the lyrics were removed altogether there would still be a wealth of artistic beauty and talent left.
In that way this album parallels many of the past year’s pop albums, relying more on the beats and sounds behind the lyrics than on the intricacies of the lyrics themselves (see Mims, The Lip Gloss Song, and any other radio song that is full of hip-hop, electronic beats). But if you pick up The Album Leaf expecting to get Lil’ Mama (The Lip Gloss Song) you have another thing coming. The majority of the Album Leaf’s music is made by Jimmy LaValle, a classically trained musician who plays just about every instrument under the sun.
It’s hard to give you an accurate picture of what The Album Leaf sounds like. The best I can do is to say that “Into the Blue” is a disc full of foot tapping electronic beats, coupled with patient and melodic piano, strings, bell, and other parts, not to mention a fair amount of atmospheric background sound. The sound is so beautiful and so well constructed, so layered that you might just forget that you don’t have to be a classically trained listener to enjoy… you just have to have a pair of ears and a soul that isn’t made of stone. I’m not saying that this sound is for everyone, but if you give this disc at least three good listens I find it hard to believe that you won’t seriously appreciate what the Album Leaf is doing.
Below is a video of the single from “Into the Blue” called “Always For You.” I think this song is a good tune, but I think there’s a reason that it’s the single off the album. Also check out the mini-documentary on the making of the “Into the Blue” album.
The making of “Into the Blue”