» LATEST FEATURES

LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The Album Leaf
Green Tour
self-released

Rating: 8/10 ?


July 9, 2007
Jimmy LaValle apparently loves colors. First we experienced off white (In an Off White Room in 2001), then red (Red Tour EP in 2005), then blue (Into the Blue Again in 2006), and now we find green entering LaValle's proverbial palette. The Album Leaf's newest release, the Green Tour EP, showcases LaValle's uncanny ability to invoke the ethereal nature of the world through the use of beautiful, verdant compositions of deceptive simplicity.

This six-song, 26-minute effort is a coda to 2006's Into the Blue Again, as well as a companion to 2005's Red Tour EP, documenting the mid-tour recordings of LaValle. It's an insight into the mind of a musician amidst the pleasures and pains of touring, and will be a treat for fans who won't be disappointed to hear a small sampling of the same sounds from his previous album. Green Tour EP isn't as compelling as Eluvium's Copia or Explosions in the Sky's All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, but is amongst the best instrumental and ambient releases of the year thus far.

Red Tour EP begins with the soothing "We Need Help," currently featured on YouTube paired with a tour video compilation, and is reminiscent of "Wherever I Go" from Into the Blue Again with its electronic drum beats, glitch sounds, buttery guitar, and gooey string accompaniment. The fare is standard Album Leaf material, meaning quality production and gorgeous soundscapes, worthy extensions of Into the Blue Again's journey through the forests, rivers, and mountains of America. But there are no great artistic leaps or experiments here, instead a continuation of a simple, elegant sound that allows the mind to wander and ponder.

A noticeable change is the omission of vocals of any sort, as none of the six tracks contain lyrics. This is a welcome exclusion, as neither LaValle's voice nor lyrics have been compelling reasons to experience the world of The Album Leaf. But with track titles such as "Drawing Mountains" and "Enchanted Hill," LaValle again explores the wonders of nature, and his odd chant-singing would only interfere with the beauty here.

Alas, Green Tour EP is not a bold record, as LaValle doesn't push any musical boundaries or challenge his listeners. But it's worth a short visit, and serves as tasty dessert to the splendors of In a Safe Place and Into the Blue Again, and perhaps as an apéritif for things to come.

Reviewed by Eric J. Morgan
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Eric J. Morgan is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Colorado. He has an orange cat named Nelson and longs for the day when men and women will again dress in three-piece suits and pretty dresses to indulge in three-martini lunches and afternoon affairs.

See other reviews by Eric J. Morgan

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!