Review Summary: Rachel Grimes is determined to tide us over until Spring.
It's fitting that Rachel Grimes' Book of Leaves
would come out so close to winter. This season effects not only the cost of the Average Joe's electric bill, but it effects many social lives. The cold weather outside prevents one from partaking in all the things one enjoys; the comforting presence of others is oftentimes lost, and one is left in solitude. While some will struggle with making their loneliness a benefit, others like like Grimes will not, and Book of Leaves
Grimes' debut, solo, neo-classical album is an instrumental work. Featuring samples beside a lone piano, the album is a rather minimalist effort, however it never fails to intrigue. Whether it be a serial of cascading piano notes or a throng of interlocking melodies, the album piques the listener's interest. However the album is delicate, and something that relaxes the listener with its personality. These minimalist eccentricities seem to show that Grimes' creative side is exemplified when in solitude. Ambient, low-key bird chirps on “Every Morning, Birds” give this impression. This track's ambience is one of many recurring themes throughout. Simplistic shifts of chords and themes enhance this factor of intrigue, and are most evident on songs like “My Dear Companion.” This pristine track features somewhat feverish melodies that interlock with one another. These melodies, when combined, show the listener that loneliness is not a bad thing. “At The Pond” and its symphony of frog noises evoke a similar emotion like the aforementioned track and the falls shown on “She Was Here.” This sense of loneliness is a key factor in this simplistic and beautiful album, and it is this sense that allows the listener to tap into Grimes' mindset when she recorded this great collection of compositions.
The consistent vibe released from this album is due to the delicate shifts of atmosphere and the variation of melodies. The album is coherent however, and the subtle changes the music goes through never seem contrived. This natural progression allows the listener to indulge him or herself in the beautiful melodies displayed here and absorb all the aural bliss Grimes has put forth. Perhaps now we have something to tide us over until Spring.