For The Album Leaf’s four previous albums, almost every single instrument was performed by Jimmy LaValle. On The Album Leaf’s newest album, A Chorus of Storytellers, LaVelle switches thing up a little bit and decided to invite the whole band in to contribute throughout the recording process. While the album’s title may reflect the additional recording support, it is still obviously LaVelle’s album.
The music on A Chorus of Storytellers varies between instrumental pieces and other tracks containing lyrics. The album as a whole has a soothing, relaxed vibe to it, and if it weren’t for tracks with singing, you wonder if the whole album would just mold itself together into one entity. That’s not to say that the album is not a beautiful showcase for LaVelle’s laidback instrumentation, it’s just not very compelling.
Tracks like “There is a Wind” and “Falling From the Sun” contain lyrics and, not coincidentally, are immediately more accessible. The music and lyrics are paired quite well with one another making for an enjoyable listen, but that’s about it.
A Chorus of Storytellers is an album that you put on in the background while you type away at your computer. It’s not demanding your attention, it’s just sort of there to listen to and enjoy. The Album Leaf’s pleasantries come and go, and before you know it, the album’s over. You didn’t dislike the album, it just sort of leaves you feeling neutral with few tracks grabbing you and asking for a repeated listen.