What makes a compelling Album Leaf record? Jimmy LaValle’s music has always been best suited to working in tandem with an outside element — say, vocals from a songwriter like Mark Kozelek or being accompanied by the visuals of a subtle horror film. Without such an X-factor, his ambient work (anything post-The Locust, really) can easily fall into a trap of being too dependable, too calm, too consistent. It’s become both a strength and a weakness. God knows there’s enough adventurous yet awful music out there, so it’s always good to have an artist who lives up to the Old Reliable superlative. It’s good to know there’s never been a terrible Album Leaf LP.