Not to have this be taken the wrong way, but if you’ve been listening to The Album Leaf for any length of time then you know what you’re getting when you pick up A Chorus of Storytellers. Really nice piano and rhodes lead (mostly) instrumental tracks. Jimmy LaValle vocals floating in and out. And a Chorus of Storytellers is really no different. I’d hate to LaValle’s best work is behind him, but he’s not breaking new ground and A Chorus of Storytellers doesn’t progress or move away from Into the Blue Again.
The album opens with Perro, an airy, ambient piece that radiants the Sigur Ros influence that was heard on In a Safe Place. Then Blank Pages kicks in with the rhodes keyboard, The Album Leaf’s signature sound over the years. LaValle’s vocals aren’t any stronger and when he sings, it seems to be a fight between trying to be a singer and be a part of the musical landscape. It’s airy and strong at the same time. Which is a slight disservice to music. The vocals don’t hinder the album and they’re sparse enough and there’s enough instrumental pieces to keep you interested, but my least facorite tracks are by far the ones where LaValle’s singing.
Fans of The Album Leaf and in particular Into the Blue Again, will enjoy this record. First time fans might want to give In a Safe Place a listen first.