11 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his fifth studio album, James LaValle brought his touring band into the studio for the first time. (His previous albums were all performed solo.) The snowcaps and icy ambient tones are still present (“Perro,” “Blank Pages”) but a strong backbeat and stronger melodies with audible vocals (“There Is a Wind,” “Falling from the Sun,” “We Are,” “Almost There”) practically make this mood-altering group a pop ensemble for a few moments. Recorded just outside Seattle in February 2009 and mixed in Reykjavik, Iceland by Sigur Rós producer Birgir Jon Birgisson, A Chorus of Storytellers features a wide sonic expanse that excels at running in place. “Within Dreams” uses an austere setting with just nibbling rhythms to display the glorious keyboard chords that arrive in waves. “Stand Still” builds the intensity but never disturbs the dreamscape; its keyboards continue to find new pockets to fill. “Until the Last” continues the forward flow with cascading piano notes leading to the hopeful vibe of “We Are.” It’s all quite a meditative journey.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For his fifth studio album, James LaValle brought his touring band into the studio for the first time. (His previous albums were all performed solo.) The snowcaps and icy ambient tones are still present (“Perro,” “Blank Pages”) but a strong backbeat and stronger melodies with audible vocals (“There Is a Wind,” “Falling from the Sun,” “We Are,” “Almost There”) practically make this mood-altering group a pop ensemble for a few moments. Recorded just outside Seattle in February 2009 and mixed in Reykjavik, Iceland by Sigur Rós producer Birgir Jon Birgisson, A Chorus of Storytellers features a wide sonic expanse that excels at running in place. “Within Dreams” uses an austere setting with just nibbling rhythms to display the glorious keyboard chords that arrive in waves. “Stand Still” builds the intensity but never disturbs the dreamscape; its keyboards continue to find new pockets to fill. “Until the Last” continues the forward flow with cascading piano notes leading to the hopeful vibe of “We Are.” It’s all quite a meditative journey.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

jamesaobrien ,

no more singing

I concur with the review below. I recently bought an album from this band, and when I heard singing I lost interest. I was under the impression they were an instrumental band, because their instrumentals are beautiful.

Joe Namath, Seattle, WA ,

A Fantastic New Record.

For anyone skeptical that Jimmy relinquishing full creative control could ruin The Album Leaf, Worry no More! Despite the fact that this record is the first time TAL recorded as a full band, the songs have never been better..

A Chorus of Storytellers is a beautifully composed album, it seems to glide much more seamlessly from song to song with a much more gently Ebb and Flow than, say their Green Tour EP or Red Tour EP, which felt more like a bunch of great songs which were stuffed together on a record with no correlation.

I think that this record REALLY picks up in the back half. Songs like "Summer Fog" and "Until The Last" set a bright, yet pensive tone. "We Are" is one of Mr. LaVelle's vocally strongest, well-composed songs ever.

I really hope that this record receives the recognition and accolades it deserves, old and new fans alike are sure to not be disappointed. "Tied Knots" is a perfect closer and reminds me a little of Olafur Arnalds "Ljosio"; it really leaves you content and wanting to have the whole experience all over again. The record's been on iTunes for a little more than a few hours and I''ve already gone through it four times.

I am happy that the group has chosen to work all together on this record, it is really a great listen. Check it out now.

AR00000 ,

amazing!

buy this album, its a great masterpiece.

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