Although this album made my top 10 of 2002, itís just now being released here in the States. Never mind that, thatís not the important bit. The important bit is that it IS coming out and you will now have the opportunity to dip in the warm mineral pool that is Icelandís Leaves. Their debut album, Breathe features all three of their past singles and throws in a handful of others that could have been. The strengths are numerous, from the Ian McCulloch-esque delivery of singer Arnar Gudjonsson on ìCrazy,î to the immediacy of ìCatchî and the Verve-like groove of ìRace.î Fans of Radiohead, Doves, Coldplay and the Bunnymen are all urged to go out immediately and get their hands on Breathe. And not only do Leaves rock, but theyíre multi-talented individuals. They all used to be on the same Third Division soccer team in Reykjavik, and Gudjonsson led the league in scoring. This band of brothers has shown the knack for writing both spacy shoegazing tunes and straight ahead epic rock numbers with equal aplomb. Itís albums like this that you really appreciate, regardless of the wait.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN