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THE ALBUM LEAF

Post Rock/Math rock • United States


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The Album Leaf biography
Coming from Southern California, Jimmy LaValle's music may come as a shock. Having traveled through various rock bands, 1999 brought the genesis of his solo work as THE ABLUM LEAF. THE ALBUM LEAF is reminiscant of SIGUR ROS, with a strong electronic element, somewhat similar to THE NOTWIST.

His most recent, "In a Safe Place," is a fine work. The uses of classical insturments with electronic sound is truly magnificent. What few vocals there are are quite haunting, yet refreshingly warm and friendly. Although several songs can be listened to on their own, the album works best when listened to fully.

"In a Safe Place" is a highly recommened piece of experimental prog and should find ample playing time next to SIGUR ROS's "Takk".

- Andrew Mecham



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Approved by the post-rock admissions team.



Discography:
An Orchestrated Rise to Fall, studio album (1999)
In an Off White Room, studio album (2001)
One Day I'll Be On Time, studio album (2001)
In a Safe Place, studio album (2004)
Into the Blue Again, studio album (2006)

The Album Leaf official website

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THE ALBUM LEAF Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy THE ALBUM LEAF Music


One Day I'll Be on TimeOne Day I'll Be on Time
Tiger Style 2001
Audio CD$6.99
$0.24 (used)
In a Safe PlaceIn a Safe Place
Sub Pop 2004
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$3.39 (used)
A Chorus of StorytellersA Chorus of Storytellers
Sub Pop 2010
Audio CD$7.49
$2.85 (used)
Forward Return / Torey's DistractionForward Return / Torey's Distraction
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$25.74
$25.90 (used)
Seal Beach EpSeal Beach Ep
Better Looking 2005
Audio CD$19.26
$3.87 (used)
Lifetime Or MoreLifetime Or More
EP
Arena Rock 2003
Audio CD$0.98 (used)
In an Off White RoomIn an Off White Room
EP
Troubleman Unlimited 2001
Audio CD$148.70
$32.95 (used)
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THE ALBUM LEAF shows & tickets


  • The Album Leaf at The Barn - UC Riverside, Riverside on 29 Oct 2014
  • The Album Leaf at UC Riverside, Riverside, Ca on 29 Oct 2014
  • The Album Leaf at Constellation Room, Santa Ana, CA on 30 Oct 2014

THE ALBUM LEAF discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE ALBUM LEAF top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.75 | 7 ratings
An Orchestrated Rise to Fall
1999
3.81 | 7 ratings
One Day I'll Be On Time
2001
3.76 | 33 ratings
In A Safe Place
2004
3.92 | 19 ratings
Into the Blue Again
2006
3.11 | 9 ratings
A Chorus of Storytellers
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
Forward/Return
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Torey's Distraction
2012

THE ALBUM LEAF Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE ALBUM LEAF Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE ALBUM LEAF Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE ALBUM LEAF Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
In An Off White Room
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Collaboration Series No. 1
2001
3.50 | 2 ratings
Seal Beach
2003
1.00 | 1 ratings
A Lifetime or More
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Collaboration Series No. 2
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Red Tour EP
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Green Tour EP
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
There Is A Wind
2010

THE ALBUM LEAF Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Into the Blue Again by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.92 | 19 ratings

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Into the Blue Again
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another album showing the Album Leaf's command of the electronic side of post-rock, Into the Blue Again also finds them producing songs which work really well as songs, as opposed to abstract post-rock soundscapes. The incorporation of tender vocals - as well as the violin work of Matthew Resovich - helps elevate the album above the post-rock crowd, and the drum programming by project main man Jimmy LaValle and Joshua Eustis is really adept, to the point where I actually didn't realise the drums were pre-programmed. On the whole, it's another success for the Album Leaf and comes recommended to anyone who has a soft spot for the Sigur Ros side of the post-rock scene.

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 In A Safe Place by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 33 ratings

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In A Safe Place
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another achingly gorgeous and melancholy piece of electronic post-rock from The Album Leaf. With impeccable production and performances, once again The Album Leaf stick to the Sigur Ros school of post-rock as opposed to the more ramshackle and rough around the edges variety practiced by Godspeed You Black Emperor or Mogwai. I agree with digdug's review that the electronic drums on this album are a particular treat - they're so hard to use in a way which doesn't just sound cheap and artificial, but here they prove to be an integral element of the sound. On the whole, it's not a revolutionary album, but it's still a winner in my book.

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 One Day I'll Be On Time by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.81 | 7 ratings

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One Day I'll Be On Time
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Album Leaf's second album finds them playing post-rock with a distinctly Sigur Ros flavour - so much so that after a member of Sigur Ros heard the album they invited The Album Leaf to support them on tour. Not that we are dealing with a clone band, mind - but there's the same impeccable production and icy cold atmosphere that Sigur Ros are known for here. At points, The Album Leaf seem a bit more willing than Sigur Ros to put the synthesisers aside and jam a little on their guitars, at points approaching something like a guitar-based reimagining of ambient music. The end result is an intriguing and evocative post-rock experience.

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 An Orchestrated Rise to Fall by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.75 | 7 ratings

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An Orchestrated Rise to Fall
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by stranded_starfish

2 stars The album leaf ' an orchestrated rise to fall

Well, having raved about 'in a safe place', you may be expecting me to do the same here ' especially as there isn't an enormous amount of difference between the two albums. Sadly, though, it's not to be. Sometimes subtle differences add up to a lot, and for me, this album just doesn't sparkle as the other did. It's like comparing a polished table to an unpolished one. They are both essentially wooden eating-surfaces , but one shines and one does not.

Maybe it's the more fragmented nature of this album ' there are more little bitty tracks here than on 'In a Safe Place'. Maybe it's that it has lost some of its soothing melody evocative of nursery rhymes. Maybe the song-writing just isn't as strong overall. I just find myself passing over this album more often than not ' or, worse, listening to it and then finding myself unable to really pin down a thread of what I've just listened to. It's not so much relaxing as forgettable.

A disappointing effort then ' not bad enough to total colour my opinion of the band with negativity, but still disappointing.

2/5

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 In A Safe Place by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 33 ratings

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In A Safe Place
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by stranded_starfish

4 stars Another post-rock album. Which means it's a cross between background music, and a lullaby. Don't expect me to love it in the same way I love genesis or king crimson, there isn't enough here for that. But don't write it off just yet. I'll give it this: it is extremely pretty. Background lullaby it may be, but it fulfils that role perfectly, soothing my brain with its gentle beauty. Whether the music is happy or sad, I don't find myself made elated or saddened by it; more, I am left calmed by its aural stillness. Through more critical lenses, it might sound as if I am calling it unmoving, or, worse, boring. But sitting in the Italian countryside, drinking a bicchiere di vino rosso, it certainly doesn't feel that way. In a musical world populated by figures such as Steven Wilson, Robert Fripp, and Peter Gabriel, who are capable of pulling your heart out through your eyes and putting your emotions through a mangle, it is to be seen as a rather positive trait that this album can simply be played, heard, and enjoyed. It really is very pretty. The backing music has an oddly musical box-esque feel to it. No, not the genesis masterpiece, I mean it has that same soothing twinkle one would see a tiny ballerina rotating to in nurseries of old. In places, this gives way to melancholic string arrangements, and a piano. Over the top, simple vocal melodies carry their mixture of lyrical poetry and pseudo-linguistic sounds, from which one feels invited to create one's own poetry inside one's ear. Overall, then, as far as post-rock goes, this album ends up being something of a favourite, even if it isn't a hugely engaging listening experience. It has seen a good deal of listening time as I head towards slumber of an evening. For these reasons, I shall shock you all, and give this album 4/5

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 In A Safe Place by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 33 ratings

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In A Safe Place
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by simbelmyne

3 stars I'm not really sure I understand the post-rock genre at all- it seems to be a huge umbrella term for a lot of disparate things. Sure, 'In A Safe Place' has the krautrock-influenced, touching on motorik percussion seen in 'Thule', and sure the emphasis throughout is on overall texture as with many post-rock bands, but with its violins and cello in tension with the drum machine later in the album it is worlds away from the guitar rambles of Explosions in the Sky. Its cold feel and restraint throughout divides it from the huge crescendos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Post-rock is too nebulous a label entirely, so to be more specific I'd describe this as a curious strain of organic ambient post-rock, an infusion of classical instumentation and ambient synthesiser texturification set against jittery electronic drums.

Obviously this resulting hybrid owes a debt to SIGUR ROS with whom it was collaboratively made, with their trademark nonsense vocals even appearing on 'Over The Pond'. However they remain reined in by a more self-conscious LaValle and the result remains uniquely withdrawn and understated. Even the vocals add to this, they are more mumbled than sung out and the mixing often emphasises this- particularly on 'Eastern Glow' the vocals are constantly in danger of being drowned out. Whether by design or incompetence is largely irrelevant, the end result is a delicate foible wherein the words, any chance at a concrete description of narrative, is minimalised in favour of the atmospherics of the experience.

Throughout the second half of the album we see the skittery drum machine adding an edge to dreamy keyboards and soaring strings, a juxtaposition which creates a relaxed and ultimately accepting melancholia, particularly beautiful in 'Twenty Two Fourteen' and 'The Outer Banks'.

'Streamside' is the exception, as being unusually guitar-heavy gives it a much warmer feel than the rest of the album. Surrounding this track and again at the end of the album are strange inclusions of the musicians just talking, which gives the album an amateur, work-in-progress feel, complimenting the shaky vocals.

Not a roaring prog masterpiece by any means- so as much as I really like this album and consider it a fragile, pretty backdrop, a catalyst even to those deeply personal moments of just-having-a-quiet-think, I am somewhat baffled by its inclusion on this site. Three stars.

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 A Chorus of Storytellers by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.11 | 9 ratings

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A Chorus of Storytellers
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars In the beginning of my review, I have to warn you that this is quite minimalistic album. Too electronic, so beware those who dislike this kind of music, simple song structures and also electronic element is not just represented in overly used synth sounds, but also that there is electronic drummer. You know, there are nice melodies, I admit that. They could have been beautiful if it wasn't for this annoying drum machine.

On the other hand, there are strings. Strings are always pleasant addition on every album (most of albums).

3(-), don't know if I'm too impatient, but probably not, because most of the time, I am able to enjoy, appreciate, understand and like slowly built music. Not this time though.

However, melodies are standard Post Rock, so for big fans of this genre, this album should have certain appeal.

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 An Orchestrated Rise to Fall by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.75 | 7 ratings

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An Orchestrated Rise to Fall
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by digdug

3 stars I enjoyed 'In a Safe Place' enough that I decided to check out the other releases from the band. This one is definitely not as strong, but it is still good. It has sort of an unifinished feel to it in parts. Jimmy LaVallee and The Album Leaf have a very slow, dreamy, melodic, style of Post Rock going here. The sound is dominated by keyboards and you don't really notice any guitars at all. If you are interested in the band, I would start with 'In a Safe Place'. If you are already converted, then this is a worthy addition.

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 In A Safe Place by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.76 | 33 ratings

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In A Safe Place
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by digdug

4 stars Jimmy LaVallee has done something I thought was impossible. He has made me truly enjoy electronic drums! Usually, they detract from the sound, but he uses them in a way that ordinary drums could not be used, and therefore, they become original. The overall sound of ?The Album Leaf? is very slow and mellow, but the drums spice things up a little. This album, like all of the best Post-Rock, can definitely send you into another mindspace. The only negative for me is when they inject singing in 'On Your Way', (obviously not a singer by trade) but thankfully there is not too much of it. Highly Recommended.

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 In An Off White Room by ALBUM LEAF, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.00 | 1 ratings

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In An Off White Room
The Album Leaf Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
3 stars In An Off White Room, while simply a more irregular EP (and it will be easy to notice what makes it irregular, pushing it longer than even regular post-rock EP-ish sessions do), is also an intimate recording. Sure, the term "intimate" can already be used for a work that belongs to the early solo phase, containing a mix of soft multi-instrumentality and electronic nuances, yet, not to misinterpret, "intimate" is taken to an extra level, in this case. After signing with a record label, LaValle received enough funds to purchase new computer equipement (or to improve his own). Installing everything in his house and starting to compose and record, the result came in this shape. Its title must be simply related to the room in which the entire musical affair took place (and it's already time to mention that the production of In An Off White Room sounds as good as any other Album Leaf recorded in the studio, a mark, if you will, of LaValle's professional one-man sessions).

Meanwhile, following a strong and pleasant debut such as An Orchestrated Rise To Fall, this EP reaches its potential and shows its importance, despite some parts that could contradict such an opinion. Not long after this, Album Leaf will come forward with a second full album, definitely making this session placed in between, filled just with mild music, but, as far as LaValle's art sounds, hardly unserious. At least in comparison with the other EPs that will fill Album Leaf's otherwise dead long spaces - but which are also characterized by LaValle's collaborations with Sigur Rós or other bands - here the "intimate" factor works and, even after repeated listens, I can't be matched with similar in format, done later. In other words, it's slightly more valorous than a default EP.

LaValle is alone in his "white room", composing or experimenting nicely, with a bit of the album weighing consistently. With fewer blind spots than perhaps on the previous debut, LaValle is equal to himself and to his sound - but that's to be filed under normal things. The artist covers some motives naturally, mostly through the combination of guitar, keyboards, drums (rhythms), but the latter two are also part of the electronic (or computeristic) branch, this second full side of the work being heard throughout the whole dimension of the EP: artificially, minimalistically or melodically, LaValle's electronic ambition is again noticeable, adding to that minimalistic rock per se, mild fusion, ambient and pop. Experimenting is a way of seeing the build-up in only certain places, but overall, you can't deny that In An Off White Room isn't a solid solitary experiment.

The way Project Loop starts could be the basis of a light fusion melody, yet the rhythms and the open, flowing voice convert it all, robustly, into ambient, post-rock and a bit of beat music. The warmth of the piece is to be remembered, because the next step is, both literally and figuratively, minor, full of raining effects over which the tune is simply airy. The drums-keys-electronics combination resumes in Six AM, the idea of sensible music growing over noisy sort of constant waves; this specific track definitely captures the sort of post-rock ambient more famous bands (Explosions In The Sky) have produced. In true contrast with this "dynamic-hollow-electronic" set of samples, the 29 minutes Off White Room can surely be too much for listeners that can't survive a monotonously lingering ambiance. That's what happens, after a moody "guitar on echoes" first arrangement, for roughly 20 minutes: the minimal is maximized, and LaValle steps (or shifts) into the complete electronic field, basically (re)producing environmental sounds: better than listening to this, you could easily imagine being in a mountain chalet and opening the window widely as to let the chirping of the birds flow inside (ideally not scaring the birds away :) ). There's hardly any other sound development, except some sampling stuff, including the intrusive sound of a motorbike or couple of whispers. The last five minutes provide a special but mainstream entry, mostly repetitive electro-pop/trance that, within our "progressive" pinpoints, can relate to Kraftwerk at best. The vocals are weak, but the tune, with its beat, has a nice flavor.

An enjoyable EP, if only with a tricky epic, good to know about even if realistically non-essential.

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Thanks to Bryan for the artist addition.

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