Tristeza member Jimmy LaValle recorded An Orchestrated Rise to Fall under the moniker the Album Leaf (taken from a piece by Chopin) from September to November 1998. LaValle wrote, arranged, and performed most of this record, with only a couple of guests appearing here and there (some nice violin on "Airplane"). This album is mostly LaValle plucking notes on his guitar or rambling on his electric piano in very quiet and linear instrumental tunes. A few samples are scattered around; a shower, a conversation, a snippet of Deep Purple's "River Deep, Mountain High," but to little effect on the music. There are a few nice melodies with a Debussy-esque quality, although always delivered in a chloroform-induced depressive state. The drums appearing halfway in the very long "A Short Story," which runs for almost 20 minutes, are much welcome. This song sounds like an attempt at copying a Godspeed You Black Emperor! climax-and-catharsis structure, but the result is not convincing. Poor production and sound quality don't help either. This release would be for collectors only.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture