City and Colour - Bring Me Your Love
Record Label: Dine Alone Records / Vagrant Records
Release Date: February 12, 2008
City and Colour are the acoustic folk-pop side project of Dallas Green, better known for his role as the guitarist/backup singer for the Canadian post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire. Bring Me Your Love is City and Colour’s second full-length album and takes on a more folk approach, as opposed to Green’s first album, Sometimes, which saw more jazz and pop influences.
Side projects are almost always a hit or miss with fans, mainly due to the fact that they stray from the artist’s original group, which usually rubs fans the wrong way. However, City and Colour are an accessible side project, appeasing to fans of Alexisonfire while managing to hook in fans of a more melodic style of music.
One of the biggest differences between this album and Green's previous work 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 the use of many different instruments. The last album had a very limited list of instruments, including the guitar, piano, and your standard studio effects. Harmonica, hand claps, and even drums are found on Bring Me Your Love, sounds that are completely missing from Sometimes.
The lead single “Waiting” could be a successful single if marketed correctly. There is a huge chorus which had me hooked instantly. The song is also one of the few songs 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 of taking cliché approaches to his 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 in “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 by far are his vocal cords. 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 in a live setting as well, proving that he isn’t a studio musician.
All in all, this is a very good, albeit moody album. Dallas Green has found a steady progression as a singer/songwriter, and he settles into that frame very well with this release.
Good review! I dig your reviews man.They're to-the-point, simple and cover all bases. In my opinion, this album is far, far better than Sometimes. I personally found Sometimes to be bland and repetitive while this has a lot more diversity. And you're completely right, he sings spot on live, too!