Explostions in the Sky
Tracklist1. The Light
2. Always For You
4. Writings on the Wall
6. See in You
7. Into the Sea
8. Wherever I Go
9. Wishful Thinking
10. Broken Arrow
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If you are unfamiliar with The Album Leaf then chances are you are unfamiliar with the many talents of James LaValle. Or perhaps you think you’ve not heard them but there is a pretty good chance that you have, especially if you’ve watched The O.C. or a few other network television shows. After the great success of their 2005 release In A Safe Place, Mr. Lavalle decided to take a break after extensive touring to focus on a new album.
Into the Blue Again picks up where The Album Leaf last left off, however this time around he used less help from his friends. With the last album help from members of Sigur Ros and the Sigur Ros string section was acquired, this album was done more by the hands of James himself. Now this isn’t to say he had no help at all because that is not the case. He had help from different members of the following bands: Telefon Tel Aviv (drum programming and engineering), The Black Heart Procession (vocal harmonies), and two members of The Album Leaf live orchestra. Also Brigir Jon Birgisson did some engineering for the disc.
This ten-track disc clocks in at just under an hour and not a minute goes by unused, and not one sound unnoticed. This album provides organic warmth to the listener and a feeling of genuine positive energy. In the opening of the album we hear the first tune, an instrumental interlude of sorts that prefaces the entirety of the whole disc. From there we are treated to a variation of vocal and instrumental tracks that switch back and forth. This duality sets up a platform for the imagination to run wild during the instrumental tracks, and then the vocal tracks bring you back to provide a voice of reason.
Something that is done quite well by The Album Leaf is that they have an uncanny ability to create songs that have a complex simplicity, or perhaps it is a simplistic complexity. Either way these songs have a voice all their own and sometimes the language they speak is universal, while other times they speak a language not yet created. The only downside, if it can be suitably called such, is that the songs of Into The Blue Again are slightly reminiscent of In A Safe Place.
With an energetic warmth, The Album Leaf has found that these series of sounds that collide to create a lush backdrop in the foreground of your mind come together quite well. Even James LaValle knows that sometimes you have to go Into The Blue Again in order to find the things you need.