Breathe - Leaves
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This debut album for the Icelandic band (who draw more comparisons to Coldplay than to their countrymates Sigur Ros) was released in the UK in 2002 to some acclaim, prompting a major label deal with DreamWorks and a U.S. rerelease in 2003.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 83
    It's such a confident display that you barely notice the English-as-a-second-language lyrics. [Nov 2003, p.117]
  2. A slow-burning but deeply impressive debut. [Sep 2002, p.109]
  3. 80
    Music at its most passionate. [Sep 2002, p.112]
  4. Despite solid songwriting, glimmering production, and a broad palette of emotions, Breathe shows the Leaves' potential more than anything else.
  5. There's an abundance of softly slashing guitar, an air of sophistication writ indelibly large by its orchestration (with the string-laden weepie 'Epitaph' as probably the outstanding example), and, wrapped in Arnar's strong tones, there's more moodyness than you can shake a particularly angsty stick at.
  6. Rather than being enjoyable, listening to Breathe in its entirety soon becomes a chore.
  7. Breathe is fine for what it is, but each time Leaves bandleader Arnar Gudjonsson launches into yet another midtempo space-rocker in which he shifts from a mushy monotone croon to a lilting falsetto, the move becomes less a genuine expression of personal style and more a shameless attempt to get with the new rock mainstream.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. BrunoR
    Jan 13, 2005
    This album is one of my favorites... the band uses a kind of strange power to get where they want, and this aspec is great. I can't wait for a new release. Expand
  2. JenT
    Feb 16, 2005
    I heard them for the first time a week ago.. i already have the album, i know that the next one is supposed to be released spring '05, so yeah, i think that this album is pretty good. Expand
  3. ZoddM
    Nov 17, 2005
    I recently found out about this band and although I don't listen to the whole album, half of it blows me away. I can see the Coldplay (who I don't really listen to) comparisons but I'd say this group is more effective in harnessing the power of under-used harmony and chord progression (a la Radiohead) but delivering it in an accessible, mainstream pop package. Some really great refreshing pop-rock songs on here... I can only assume the lack of promotion is the reason it hasn't caught on. Expand