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Into the Blue Again

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 12, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jimmy LaValle's varied experience includes stints with Tristeza, The Locust, GoGoGo Airheart, The Blackheart Procession, and Sigur Ros. "Into The Blue Again" sees LaValle handling the bulk of the vocal and instrumental duties. After tracking, he took the concentric billows of feathered keyboards, filmy strings, and chiseled drums to Iceland for three weeks of mixing to tape to maintain Brian Eno-informed translucence. Having shared so much time and space with others on the road, LaValle proves, with this personally charged release, that The Album Leaf resonates most profoundly when he goes it alone.

Review

...its gentle beats and ambient textures are gorgeous enough to stand on their own. - (Austin L. Ray) -- Chord

A more intense and realized record.. with lusher strings and vocal harmonies..taking sonic peregrinations that suggest he's hit the mere beginning of a damn impressive creative side. - (Steven Leckart) -- Filter

On his fourth album, (LaValle) gently eases you into his mostly instrumental world, where shimmering keyboards float around sweeping strings and understated beats. - (Jason Gross) -- Spin
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 12, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B000H7JA98
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,936 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William R. Elenbark on September 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The new Album Leaf album Into the Blue Again was released last week to relatively little fanfare with an advance track that I liked but didn't love, so it took me over a week to actually purchase the new CD. I'm not sure why. I've loved each of their previous releases, from the completely wordless but beautiful One Day I'll Be on Time to the more filled-out arrangements (and Sigur Ros influence) of In a Safe Place. And this collection does not disappoint. The Album Leaf started as a side project to Jimmy LaValle's Tristeza, which is more electronic based, but LaValle has really expanded his sound into an ambient masterwork, somewhat similar to Sigur Ros, and approximating some of the lighter sounding tracks of Mogwai.

LaValle does some more singing on this new album, and while I thought the vocal tracks on In a Safe Place were the highlights, creating a welcome change of pace to the same-ness that plagued One Day I'll Be on Time, the sung songs are unfortunately the weak points of this album. But those minor down points are more than made up for on the rest of the album, which features some of the most beautifully melodic tracks I've heard this year. Opener "The Light" kicks this off with understated brilliance and is followed by the aforementioned "Always for You", a good but not great song. Then "Shine" hits you and it takes a while to recover. Just an almost perfect song as LaValle confidently applies his craft, creating shimmering beauty out of several instruments that blend together into a seamless form. According to the liner notes, "Shine" uses violins, Rhodes piano, keyboards, synthesizers, bass guitar, glockenspiel, drums, and drum programming, all but the violin performed by LaValle himself.
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Format: Audio CD
The Album Leaf's post-rock/downtempo mood continues with INTO THE BLUE AGAIN, as "The Light" drifts calmly on soft layers of sound. But "Always for You" brings in the drums and the vocals, and tracks like "Shine" remind you that the Album Leaf is, at heart, a rock band, despite the electronic underpinnings. But that's OK! If it makes "Red-Eye" seem like a melancholy stroll through an empty city street with its stuttering rhythm and long strings, that's OK! Really, this is an album that could have appeared on Morr Music. "See in You" has that combination of electronic and acoustic guitar that seems all the rage, but does it well; "Into the Sea" swells with orchestral beauty; the gentle piano that starts "Wishful Thinking." To top it off, "Broken Arrow" brings back those weepy strings, and the whole rock/techno dichotomy gets destroyed. But that's OK.
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Format: Audio CD
In William James' classic The Varieties of Religious Experiences, buried deep in the 400 page work is a passing comment concerning music's appeal to one's mystical sensibility. Into the Blue Again is a great album that captures nearly flawlessly that mystical quality that is so attractive to some people. What I enjoy about it the most is that it captures this quality without being barbaric, eccentric, or abrasive. Into the Blue Again is peaceful and transcendent while at the same time powerful, both familiar and new at the same time.
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By Indigo on January 15, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I have all of TAL releases & this is really underwhelming. I like mellow atmospheric music as much as the next guy but this has no substance whatsoever. I tried to listen to it several times to see if I was missing something but to no avail, the better songs on the album are mediocre at best, and the rest all sound the same, lifeless & boring. The best thing about this album is probably the cover...which isnt saying much. Skip it, you wont be missing anything crucial.
IN A SAFE PLACE is not too far from this "masterpiece", meaning I'd give it 3 stars at best.

If you're new ot TAL start/check out Seal Beach & One Day I'll Be on Time, before shelling out some cash for the above mentioned.
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Format: Audio CD
Shimmering ambient meets translucent edge in a creative fusion with artistic appeal. An escape into satisfaction that leaves you filled with anticipation. The warmth is exciting and the casual coolness leaves you in mystery.

"The Light" purrs into life and then washes into liquid solitude in a reverberating perfection that opens up into "Always For You."

"Shine" is rigid and dreamy like ice melting into hot chocolate and wolves running through snow. "Writings on the Wall" is moody and revelatory with solitary violin haunting an emotional landscape with indistinct vocals. This song melts into "Red Eye" as notes echoes through cavernous underground chambers splintering off stalactites and diving into deep luminous pools. Crystalline textures dance with warm ambience echoing out in all directions. Once this haunting track takes hold of you it doesn't let you go and takes you on an edgy ambient fusion.

"See in You" continues the instrumental mood with snappy rhythmic beats that seems to blur out into a mellow soul tuning introspection. More like poetry than music, at times this is a study of tone.

"Into the Sea" is slightly more reticent than the previous selections and this creates an element of tension throughout as the track tries to break free. As if seeking a destiny, the song finally moves from swirling in circles to an exciting flourish. Ancient voices seem to be calling from faraway lands and then they dissipate into a silky wave.

"Wherever I Go" arrives and takes over in a moody orchestration and mellow vocals. The instrumentation is striking and ecstatic with an intriguing ending that makes your head spin.
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