Unwound - Leaves Turn Inside You
Nov 14, 2022
I sometimes worry that my ratings are too positive. The 90-99 portion of my ratings is the most populated, which seems a little odd. With this comes the thought I have sometimes that I have too many 100s. If any album deserves the triple digits, this is it. Leaves Turn Inside You is the result of Unwound's longest break between albums, and would be the final album of their discography. Produced by the band themselves in their own studio, full creative control was established on their magnum opus.

It shows the second the first disc starts, "We Invent You" bringing a 2 minute drone that's half pretentious, half palate cleanser. It's followed by one of the most memorable intros I've heard. The moment Justin Trosper croons "I'm on the surface now..." over a triumphantly pessimistic dirge solidified in my mind that this album would be something special. "Look a Ghost" comes as sort of a shock, given that it's a relatively simple but incredibly catchy and well-structured song about a shot at requited love. This album is dominated by bass-lines, and Vern Rumsey (RIP)'s talent is exemplified here on "December," a song about the power of communication with a rarity: vocals from Rumsey himself. "Treachery" has a unique intro and features some nice storytelling; the repeated refrain of "trouble with the truth is double" reminds me of all the times I've dodged the consequences of my actions by withholding the truth. My favorite song of the album, "Terminus" is easily the first disc's magnum opus. A triple-part masterpiece, the song shifts from a sinister intro to a beautifully orchestral breakdown, capped off with a relaxing outro that shows the band members' interplay at its finest. Justin's lyrics are delivery are very impactful, too. I find myself still trying to elucidate some of what he meant in this track. "Demons Sing Love Songs" is similar to track two compared to the last one, but its still a beautiful composition about finally opening up to love while being tormented with your own self-doubts. "Off This Century" concludes the first disc with a bang, proclaiming that "the last century hasn't ended yet."

While the first disc sets up a dreamy and empowering atmosphere, the second disc tears it down to rubble. It starts with a brief period of silence before an odd repeated noise gets louder in a quick assault to the ears. "One Lick Less" follows, an incredibly somber and slow track that builds up to a hauntingly apathetic jam. That apathy folds into anger as Justin delivers an incredibly powerful performance about the bitter end to an abusive relationship on "Scarlette." Further statements of tedium and disillusionment follow ("October All Over," "Summer Freeze) before a soaring break from the negativity comes with the instrumental "Radio Gra." Equally hopeless and uplifting, as much of this album, Sara Lund's steady drumming harmonizes with the background vocals and heavenly strings. "Below the Salt" might be one of their greatest songs ever, 10 minutes of post-rock perfection where everyone performs their best. It's an experience unlike any other, weighing you down with the sheer totality of all of its components. You truly do feel beneath the good things happening to everyone else, left to your own devices to contemplate in solitude.

As "Who Cares" closes this masterpiece record with an almost mockingly different atmosphere, the back-masked "thanks for nothing" puts me on a path of reflection. This album is old enough to drink in the US, but is is still timeless, and will remain that way. The conflicting atmosphere it brews, every riff and beat and strum, every melody and word and scream, Leaves has quickly become one of my most-played albums, 0and one of my all-time favorites. Through the best and worst moments in recent memory, this double album stands as a testament to the joys and sorrows of life. I implore everyone to give it a shot.

InitializeSahib's Tags
Lol I feel the same as the beginning - but honestly, there's just so much good music, I feel justified giving the albums I enjoy a high score lol.
And great review!! This is one of my favorite albums, and your descriptions of it here really match how I feel about it :D
thank you :) i should look at it as there being a lot of good music out there, yea
Great job on the review! This is probably one of my favorite albums of all time and I think that you did a good job writing about it. Great job!
thanks man, nice taste
You’re welcome! Also, thank you!
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