Album Review: Colour strikes the right chord
Side projects are almost always hit or miss, mainly because they stray from the artist’s original group, which usually rubs fans the wrong way. However, City and Colour is one of the more accessible side projects, appeasing fans of Dallas Green while managing to hook fans of a more melodic style of music.
City and Colour is the acoustic folk-pop side project of Green, who is better known for his role as the guitarist/back-up singer for the Canadian post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire. Bring Me Your Love is City and Colour’s second full-length album, which takes on a more folk approach as opposed to Green’s first solo album, Sometimes, which saw more jazz and pop influences.
One of the biggest differences on the album is the use of the acoustic guitar. More songs rely on the barebacked sounds of the acoustic guitar and Green’s sincere and earnest delivery. Let’s just say that giving this band the dreaded "emo" tag wouldn’t be unwarranted. Songs such as "Confessions" and "The Death of Me" don’t seem to be too far off from songs you would hear at a coffee house or a campfire.
While on the subject of comparing Bring Me Your Love to Sometimes, Green has incorporated many different instruments. The last album had a very short list of instruments, limited to the guitar, piano and your standard studio effects. On Bring Me Your Love, you hear harmonicas, handclaps and even drums, which were nowhere to be found on Sometimes.
The lead single "Waiting" could be huge if marketed correctly. There is a huge chorus which would have listeners instantly hooked. The song is also one of the few to feature a full band. The harmonica in "Body in a Box" gives the song a brooding Counting Crows vibe to it, while "Sleeping Sickness" has gang vocals, perfect for sing-alongs.
One of the biggest detractors of this project is Green’s tendency to take cliche approaches to lyrics. Green has a habit of dropping cheesy lyrics occasionally, such as the crippling "Cross my heart/hope to die" in "Forgive Me," or the juvenile lyrics of "The Girl." Despite some of these poor choices, Green’s seemingly flawless vocals and delivery make it easier for the listener to look past them.
Green’s best assets are his vocal cords, by far. With a voice like this, it’s hard to imagine that he takes the backseat in a post-hardcore band. His true talent shines behind the microphone. And if 2007’s live album release was any indication, he manages to pull off the vocals live as well, proving that he isn’t a studio musician.
All in all, this is a very good, albeit moody, album. Green has found a steady progression as a singer/songwriter, and he settles into that frame very well with this release.
Bring Me Your Love was released Feb. 12 on Vagrant Records. Be sure to catch Green as City and Colour in Austin for South by Southwest on March 15.
Verdict: Definitely a side project worth listening to