Album: A Good Land, An Excellent Land
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
Sometimes in the midst of an album review, I forget what music’s really about. In searching for complexity, whether in a guitar riff, time signature, or lyric, I lose the simplicity in the true purposes of music: the main one being, to capture and relate emotion. To move the listener, to happiness, longing, jubilation, insanity, the specifics don’t really matter. What matters is that it takes us to a place we wouldn’t already be. By whatever means necessary.
For Tiny Leaves, the means are a piano, guitar, and strings. The three most common instruments on the planet. So maybe it’s fitting that only they are used in this album that seems to capture the essence of music. Each piano melody, each crescendo of strings, every quiet plucking of the guitar serves to push the listener emotionally. In what direction, I’m not sure. It’s a more abstract form of music, one without lyrics to tell you how you should feel. But whether you find joy in a moment of quiet, sustained harmonies or melancholy, the diversity in this album should take you through a myriad of emotions. And with the smoothness in transitions between each section, you may not realize the variety in what you’ve experienced until the album fades to silence.
It’s both experimental and simple, it’s both daring and shy, but above all else it is beautiful. It’s an independently released album that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. It’s a 4.5