20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews The Album Leaf’s A Chorus Of Storytellers by Irina Dvalidze

20 Watts Reviews The Album Leaf’s A Chorus Of Storytellers

PREVIEW: VISIT The Album Leaf’s My Space
Listen To: Falling From The Sun by The Album Leaf
WE GIVE IT: 15/20 Watts

The Album Leaf— the San Diego musical project centered on Jimmy LaValle–has over fourteen releases on his record. However, after a decade of activity, The Album Leaf is now bringing us his most mature album to date. Of course, the interesting sonic development on A Chorus of Storytellers might have something to do with the presence of an entire band while recording this time around. Not at all like LaValle’s previous releases where he is a sole participant.

While there is no doubt about LaValle’s capacity as an overall solo master, his latest, A Chorus Of Storytellers, is something else entirely.Heavily instrumental and ambient, as one would expect, A Chorus Of Storytellers is a step in a new direction. LaValle invests incredible emotion within each arrangement, combining melodic violins with steady, soft beats. The classic orchestral developments are engulfed in faster paced undertones, producing a refreshing and sentimental sound. Tracks “Falling From The Sun” and “Within Dreams” stand out further from the entire release because of strong vocal additions.

The entire release is extremely well balanced thanks to the variety of sounds that LaValle incorporates. A Chorus Of Storytellers is hardly a compilation of overdone ambient junk that has been dominantly taking over. It is a clean-cut, tight album that very frankly gives us a fresh take on what acoustic-electronica could, and should sound like.

The presence of the entire band is clear on the album. It sounds more unified and coherent in comparison with previous releases. The transitions are never abrupt in between the tracks, but rather, the album relies purely on the originality of each song to provide a variety and avoid humdrum repetition.

Overall, A Chorus Of Storytellers is by no means a synth trip waiting to happen. Instead, its sound has an unusually cinematic appeal. Each arrangement is extremely dynamic and powerful, with a strong theatrical capacity. Every melody is just slightly exaggerated and over the top. It successfully manages to avoid the thin line of becoming cheesy and melodramatic–something listeners will surely be able to appreciate as they wind through the band’s new, fuller soundscape.

–Irina Dvalidze


I like this song.

Comment by Jett

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