vrijdag 9 oktober 2015

If I Should Go Before You. City and Colour

What to make of the high voice of Dallas Green? I still haven't got a real answer to that question, but that it fits the music of City and Colour is a comment almost too easy to make, if it wasn't the obvious truth. In the opening track, the monumental, 'Woman', voice and music are a blend of soundscapes. There are at best hints at melodies, but nothing that is expected or directly associable with a pop song. Both are eruptions of sound that follow a sound structure. More monotonous than variety but with a deep, deep impact on me.

If I Should Go Before You is the fifth album of Dallas Green under the name City and Colour since 2005. Before that he was the singer and guitarist in the successful post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. (I'm almost certain that at the time I've listened for like 2.5 song, before I switched it off for ever.) Since then City and Colour has become his main vehicle and a successful one. For this album Green decided to work with his live band. As this is my first City and Colour album, I can't judge whether that makes a large difference.

Structured songs make their appearance on If I Should Go Before You from song 2 onwards. Even something resembling a blues scheme. In 'Mizzy C' I can note glorious pop music, like Jon DeRosa has on his album, 'Black Halo' or Keith Caputo on his debut solo album, 'Died Laughing'. Although the songstructure is not extremely difficult, City and Colour manages to make the song so extremely free flowing. As if the class of this song is the most natural thing in the universe. It leaves me behind extremely impressed.

Moving further into the album, the sound gets an element of soul. The electric piano and the high played up strokes of the rhythm guitar. In 'Killing Time' that mood switches just as easily to a harder rock setting when the solo kicks in and the volume goes up in general. From a piano song 'Killing Time' moves to a rocker and back for the outro, which has a little of the first album of Steely Dan as well.

By then City and Colour has laid down several moods, without giving in an inch on quality control. If I Should Go Before You by then has become a different album than I had expected from listening to 'Woman'. No matter how impressive this song is, the album is different after that and I'm not complaining. I am a song man that gets surprised by a 'Woman' every once in a while. Sweet pop at a very high level is what song by song is let loose on me. Even with a country element in the form of a pedal steel in 'Runaway'. Another one of the bittersweet popgems that fill City and Colour's latest.

My final comment on this album has to be on its warmth. 'Lover Come Back' is the kind of song that makes the lover addressed understand instantly there is no alternative but to return. The song is all enveloping. Looked at from that angle again I have to conclude that City and Colour made an album that is a total success. And that voice? As I wrote music and singing fit like a glove and are totally one. Discussion closed.


You can listen to 'Woman' here:


or buy on Bol.com


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