City and Colour
Bring Me Your Love


4.5
superb

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
May 19th, 2008 | 33 replies | 44,616 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Canadian troubadour puts out Alexis fire for now with serious contender for album of the year.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

“My name is Dallas. I can’t sleep. I play music. Finish strong.”

With these four simple sentences, we are introduced to Dallas (city) Green (colour), on his MySpace profile. He may appear to one of few words, but anyone even slightly familiar with his work knows there is certainly more to Green than meets the eye. The music he has created under this alias is in surprisingly strong contrast with his main focus as guitarist and vocalist in Canadian band Alexisonfire. With Alexisonfire, he plays loud, intense and melodic hardcore, providing soaring clean vocals amidst George Pettit’s howl and Wade McNeil’s husk. On his own, however, Dallas prefers his music stripped back- almost always acoustic musically, introspective and from the heart lyrically.

With his second studio offering under the City and Colour name, Bring Me Your Love, Green has created an album that feels instantly accessible, genuine and poetic, in a vein similar to works by a young Bob Dylan or the late Jeff Buckley. From the opening guitar picking to the final harmony, the album is a collection twelve moments of beauty and delicacy enfolded in perfect order, so there is no need to skip or rearrange the way of listening to it.

So what exactly is it that makes Bring Me Your Love such an outstanding effort? Well, it’s simple…no, really. The album’s main focus is the man, his guitar and the vivid, beautiful and often hard-hitting words weaved in-between. This ‘less-is-more’ style is noticeable from track one- “Forgive Me” is a raw recording of Dallas Green walking into a room, picking up a steel string guitar and performing a brief but heart-wrenching plea of love-lost apology (“I’ve been known to fall in love/But sometimes love just is not enough”). Green’s Jeff Buckley influence is like a ghost in the room on this track; and the sentiment of the album’s consistently poignant lyricism is evidently off to a strong start. Elsewhere, the folksy “Constant Knot” and definitive album highlight, the beautifully pensive “What Makes A Man?”, further prove that sometimes, an acoustic guitar, a voice (especially one as penetrating as Green’s) and maybe even a little harmonica is all you need.

Conversely, another great thing about this record is Green’s development of his sound with City and Colour. This time around, the sound has instruments such as the banjo, bass, drums, stomp boards and various other percussion- in itself a notable change from 2005’s Sometimes, which featured only guitars and keyboard. The change and progression is most notable on lead single “Waiting…”, the first City and Colour song to have a real “full band” feel to it. The song is certainly all the better for it, adding an unexpected depth and energy to the song. Elsewhere, “Sleeping Sickness” sees Dallas take to some choppy guitar chords and introduce a touch of loudness and intensity with a fantastically catchy stomp-clap chorus (also used in a similar vein during the outro of “Constant Knot” to great effect) and a country-rock guitar solo, providing a perfect example of Green’s ability on the instrument. Tragically Hip front-man and fellow Canadian Gordon Downie also supplies vocals on the second verse, with a strained, weary soulfulness that few other vocalists can pull off properly.

Perhaps the most important feature of Bring Me Your Love, however, is Green’s lyrics, heart-wrenchingly honest, starkly powerful and often filled with vivid imagery and moving stories of loss, guilt, love and loneliness. The anxiety on “Constant Knot” (“A constant knot in my gut/Tied with uncertainty and with lust”), the sweet long-distance love story of “The Girl” (“While I’m off chasing my own dreams/Sailing around the world/Please know that I’m yours to keep”), the criminal on trial’s “Confessions” (“At least, this I’ll admit/For what I’ve done, I am not proud”), to being completely honest with himself in “Sensible Heart” (“I get so distracted by some people’s reactions/That I don't see my own faults for what they are”)- every story sets out to pluck a heartstring, to make one think, to feel. In this respect, the target is never missed.

What City and Colour has created here is truly special, setting a benchmark for all other acoustically-oriented albums released thus. Essentially, this album is Dallas Green. This is his life, his experiences, his troubles and his joys in his own words. Little else can be said- just take fifty minutes out of your day, and open a window into the world of City and Colour.

Bring Me Your Love?
Consider it brought.



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3.9
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Inconsistent production values, along with some terrible musical choices, hamper an album brimming w...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
May 24th 2008



1588 Comments


a 5/5?!?

I quite enjoy a few of the songs, they are easy to just relax to. But I struggle to see how you can justify a 5/5. Yeah you describe in the album good enough, but you don't really ever dedicate yourself to capturing the essence of why it is a 5/5 to you (and as such I can't see why!)

Your second to last paragraph does provide some reasoning though, but compare this with other solo acoustic albums and this falls short. Just doesn't come close to stuff like Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Leonard Cohen's Songs of Leonard Cohen, Wayne Mason's Between Frames etc. Lyrically and musically there are lots of albums that have this beat.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
May 24th 2008



1588 Comments


The actual writing is quite good though (after a brief read).

AtavanHalen
May 24th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I try to describe the music, mood, musicianship etc. than include my personal opinions too much.
I can perfectly understand why you're confused as to why I gave this a five out of five. I wasn't quite sure myself to begin with. Basically, I am in love with Dallas Green's music. The wholeheartedness of it, the honesty, how I can connect with his work so easily. It's something very few other artists can do for me. This album is his piece de resistance, to me. Sometimes is beautiful as well, but this is Dallas' moment- it's intimate, it's powerful, it's beautifully played and written, I love everything about it.
You ever listen to something and just feel like you're alive and something good is going to happen? That's what Dallas Green does to me.
Thanks for reading.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
May 24th 2008



1588 Comments


hmmm yeah I guess I get what you're saying. I compare it to what I was like with Jose Gonzalez' Veneer (though I never quite rated it that highly). But eventually you move on, and then when you look back you still think it is a good album but struggle to see why you were quite so fanatic. It is more so a 5/5 based on where you are at in life etc.

Remove that context however and I think this album struggles to reach close to a 5/5. I guess I see why you gave it a 5/5 from a personal standpoint. Really seems to me like the rating is a personal opinion, however the review itself is more so trying not to be personal (for the most of it).

On a side note you ever listened to Nick Drake? You'd probably like his stuff.

This Message Edited On 05.24.08

AtavanHalen
May 24th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I list Five Leaves Left as a reccomended album on the side there- River Man is one of my all time favourite songs.
In a few years, my rating for this may drop, but it's still a five for now. Couple of years ago, I'd have probably given Veneer a five too. I've settled on a 4.5 for that one- massive fan of his.

AtavanHalen
June 10th 2008



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I changed the rating at last. Let's just call it "admitting I was wrong".

pneumoniahawk93
January 8th 2009



275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree completely with this review. it's his sincerity that makes this album great, compared to other so called singer songwriters, he seems so much more authentic, not whiny or anything, just real. plus, he has a voice to die for. and this album is so underrated. how didn't it get into the staff top 50?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2009



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard an Alexisonfire song the other day & I just wanted the other guy to shutup and let Dallas sing.

nkn3390
June 27th 2009



71 Comments


Thank you. It's good to know that this album does as much for some others as it does for me. I like the simple production and addition of other instruments. The lyrics especially are what make me feel glad to be alive. Excellent review.

SilverSky
January 21st 2011



30 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i like this review a lot better than the other one for this album.

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
January 25th 2011



1588 Comments


You'd be mad not to!

AtavanHalen
January 25th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha, I remember this.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Following on from his superb debut LP, Canadian singer-songwriter Dallas Green delivers the goods again on 'Bring Me Your Love'. Displaying a more folk-oriented feel through greater instrumentation, his 2nd LP under the City and Colour moniker is yet another vehicle for his amazing voice, which grows more assured by the year. In striving for extra variety & melody (both of which are abundant here), Green does not deliver as many spine-tingling moments as on 'Sometimes', but that is comparitive nit-picking on what is still an excellent side-project release. Recommended Tracks: Sleeping Sickness, The Death of Me, The Girl & Confessions.

kangaroopoo
September 22nd 2011



3175 Comments


Sometimes has more spine-tinglers.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That's what I just said.

kangaroopoo
September 22nd 2011



3175 Comments


You said spine-tingling.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ahhh, you're talking whole songs & I'm talking moments. But what if those moments are continuous?

kangaroopoo
September 22nd 2011



3175 Comments


Yes moments that endure and best tingles come in the climax...to Like Knives.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011



20857 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I might call it now: Best. Voice. Going. Around.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 22nd 2011



7261 Comments


You tingle my spine Davey ;)

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence



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