Anthony Green – Beautiful Things
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Record Label: Photo Finish
Anthony Green has always had a hyper, if not eccentric, sense of honesty and sincerity to him. Whether it was a personal highlight or lowlight, it has always been present in his various forms of musical output, even if it would come across in the vaguest of metaphors. But that was before marriage, before he turned his life around, before he had his first child. Now armed with the realest of real life experiences, Green has unveiled his most personal collection of tracks yet on his second solo effort, the appropriately titled Beautiful Things.
Green doesn't shy away from anything throughout the album's thirteen tracks. He doesn't mind revealing details about his personal life or his family (the nearly naked woman that graces the cover of Beautiful Things is his wife), which is crucial since it's those topics that generate the intense passion behind each track. The first two tracks on Beautiful Things seem to be reminders of what he needs to do to continue the positivity in his life. The sizzling opener “If I Don't Sing” has Green's vocals soaring over a brash alt-country tempo. It also doesn't hurt when your backing band is the fellas from Good Old War, who all join in on the very fun a cappella track “Do It Right.” Good Old War isn't the only friend who joins Green on Beautiful Things. Circa Survive bandmate Colin Frangicetto offers some vocal back-up on the folky “How It Goes,” while LIGHTS adds a subtle harmony to the up-beat jam “Just To Feel Alive” (the album's bonus tracks feature contributions from Ida Maria, Chino Moreno, and Nate Ruess; make sure to seek these out).
Musically, Beautiful Things has something for everyone. Good Old War drummer Tim Arnold gives each track some great grooves and rhythms, while Maps And Atlases' guitarist Dave Davison lays down some delicious riffs on “Get Yours While You Can.” Green mellows out on the sleepy synth of “When I'm On Pills,” while toe-tapping “Blood Song” draws its narrative from the film There Will Be Blood.
With the flow of the album fluctuating from one genre to the next, Green's smooth croon remains the one constant on Beautiful Things. His voice adds an extra layer of warmth to tracks like the chaotic “Moon Song” and the twangy “Big Mistake.” The sweetest of moments emerge during the songs dedicated to his first born song, James. There's a tenderness in Green's vocals that really impacts the gentle “James' Song,” as well as on the closing track “Lullaby.”
There's a certain nakedness to this album that makes it so endearing. The sincerity displayed by Green throughout just makes it very easy for any listener to be fully transfixed by Beautiful Things. Green's second solo effort is a huge step up from 2008's Avalon, showcasing a versatility and cohesiveness its predecessor lacked. Fans have always had a secondhand look into the mind and pathos of the Circa Survive front man, but with Beautiful Things things don't seem so bleak anymore, as we've been invited in to share the new found joy in Anthony Green's life.