Review Summary: An acoustic album, bound to leave a lasting impression on anyone who listens to it.
City And Colour is the side-project of Alexisonfire's guitar player and melodic vocalist, Dallas Green. Just in case you haven't caught on yet, Dallas=City and Green=Colour. He never liked the idea of having his name strewn across the front of a CD cover so felt "City and Colour" would be more appropriate.
Many side-projects seem more like an ego trip for the artist to "fully spread their musical wings" but this is not the case with Dallas Green. He wrote some songs over the years that couldn't possibly fit in with what Alexisonfire was doing, so he recorded a few and uploaded them to his MySpace page. It turned out that people loved the songs and craved more which lead to the release of an EP amd forced the release of his debut album, "Sometimes."
The song structures are simple but the lyrics pack in so much emotion that the listener doesn't even notice. Heartfelt songs such as "Forgive me", "Like Knives" and "Confessions" about love, loss and all that goes with it and the likes of "Coming Home" the sound of one man's yearning to get back to the person who means the most to him in the entire world, are all tracks that could only be made by someone who is writing from the heart. City and Colour is raw and honest, and this live album catches that perfectly. You can hear the applause in between songs but you can also sense the intensity and full attention, which is afforded Green by the crowd in his presence.
Green's stage presence is somewhat awkward as the album starts off with applause and Green simply saying "hi" into the mic. This doesn't matter however because the songs do all the talking for him. The album is mainly Dallas playing guitar with occasional strings and piano, done by Green as well as a special guest. The songs sound almost studio perfect even with probably the most well known song, "Save Your Scissors." Basically, you would have to try very hard to pick out any instrumental flaws. It would probably be a better choice to pick up the live album because it seems the live setting just adds to the power and emotion in Green's singing voice. With only a couple of different tracks to the album and a piano-led version of the Alexisonfire song "Happiness By The Kilowatt" along with a Live DVD, this would serve perfectly as introduction to City and Colour.
The few downfalls of "Live" would really just be the few instrumental mistakes and as with most acoustic music, some of the songs sound similar to others. However, if you listen to the full album in one sitting, this is not a problem.
The great thing about City and Colour is that the lyrics can apply to almost anyone in almost any situation so you're bound to find a song that makes your hair stand on end. I highly recommend this to anyone in need of a little musical help, through a tough situation or fans of acoustic music in general, this album is for you.