The Album Leaf
For those of you expecting refinded tunes with catchy rhythms or sing along choruses, I would suggest trying out something different. The slow but massive Wander opens with mystery and is fully instrumental while the second track, An Interview, actually utilizes an interview as an integral part of the track, after which Launge Act provides a brief interlude.
In a matter of speaking the album is a case of 'what you see is what you get'. The tunes are strangely mesmerizing but are likely to speak to a limited audience only. September Song and We Once Were (One) have memorable, haunting arrangements while This River Deep and Airplane are slightly more dispersed. It is obvious LaValle draws from different influences, both musical and cultural as it ranges from medieval to ambient and from postrock to Asian disharmonizing.
A Short Story is an aptly ironic title for a tune lasting nearly 20 minutes. Near the end of the record, LaValle connects back to the first half by including We Once Were (Two) and Lounge Act (Two). Especially the former peaks my interest whenever I spin this record.
Creative and worthwile but not likely a successful release. LaValle is a multi-talented artist and I wouldn't be surprised if he keeps searching for new territory to cross into. It may not always be what you're looking for (or at least, that goes for me), but it is always interesting!