Into the Blue Again
From the onset of the majestic, cinematic album opener, “The Light,” it’s apparent that this will be a smooth voyage into mind-swelling vistas and heart-breaking sundowns. All that’s needed is an IMAX screen. Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle, who’s logged time with Tristeza, GoGoGo Airheart and the Locust, works with sound as if it were a drug that can medicate moods. Which, apparently, it can. Into the Blue Again’s ten tracks are meditation odes delivered for calming effect from a songwriter who knows how to build melodies into pure atmosphere. Recorded partially in Iceland at Sigur Ros’ Sundlaugin studio, the album shares the Ros’ similar shimmering, ethereal tones. Piano notes resonate in echo chambers, with guitars. violins and layers of keyboards swirling about while rhythms subtly shift behind them. Three tracks (“Always For You,” “Writings On the Wall,” “Wherever I Go”) employ vocals and all are left buried in the mix to heighten the elusive, mysterious mood. It’s a dreamstate, really, the line between what’s real and imagined perfectly blurred with a pulsing purity.