City and Colour
Sometimes


4.0
excellent

Review

by USER (43 Reviews)
October 31st, 2005 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Dallas Green is most known for his antics in post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, bringing out awesome riffs that feel raw and energetic. However, it's in his solo project City And Colour that his songwriting abilities truely shine. Reminiscent of Dashboard Confessional's The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most, Dallas combines simple melodies with acoustically-fueled pop tunes that emphasise emotional lyrics. It doesn't sound like the most original idea on paper, but it's a whole other story in the music.

"...Off By Heart" begins the album as a sort of introduction track, with just under 2 minutes of play time. A simple chord structure backs up Dallas' high-pitched style of singing, and lyrics like "Forgive me for I am the ocean/And I will stop for you" make this a short and sweet easing into City And Colour's style of play. "Like Knives" is the first notable song on the album, clocking in four and a half minutes. The main structure of a CAC song is a well-played yet seemingly basic acoustic harmony with Dallas' strong voice softly singing the lyrics. There isn't much more else in the songs, except sometimes another acoustic guitar or a piano or something. "Like Knives" well demonstrates how easy it can be to convey songs like this, with the volume of the guitar increasing and decreasing gently during chorus and verse changes, and using the lyrics as a strength. Dallas' voice gets louder at the end, and it sells the lyrics a lot more. "Hello, I'm In Delaware" is much more melodic, with shifts between chords being strummed and beautifully picked bursts on the higher strings. With some apearances from a string section as well, this really feels much more relaxed and heartfelt than the previous song, and is no doubt one of the best on the record. Dallas' vocals and acoustic guitar blend together to perfection here, and it flows into the uplifting "Save Your Scissors", quite easily my personal favourite of Dallas'. With a more upbeat melody and dual acoustic guitars providing just the right amount of strumming and picking, Dallas' lyrics ring out so nicely. Lyrics like "So why does it always seem that every time I turn around sombody falls in love with me", it really proves that basic structures can sometimes be the most rewarding.

"In The Water I Am Beautiful" once again feels like a raw mixture of lyrics pouring with emotion and more simple chord structures. This is one of Dallas' first songs, so it's easy to see how much time he spent on the lyrics, with "Now three months equals eternity and this will be so hard/And I will long to hold you in my arms" flowing effortlessly. It also feels like one of his older songs, with ocassional palm-muted bits and much darker and AIOF-style rhythms. "Day Old Hate" begins with a very downbeat mood, with much more focus on the picking rather than strumming of the guitar. Dallas' vocals last for ages, yet the lyrics are so short, and you really get that feeling of a heartwrenching tale he's telling. It's also about 6 minutes, so the song does drag out a little bit, but it's such a relaxing song to listen to. So when "Sam Malone" picks up, it has that destressful and folksy kind of feeling to it. It does feel very jazzy with it's slow tempo and occasional picking of the acoustic guitar, and the mixture between the two has a sort of Western vibe to it. It's a great song, and Dallas' vocals shine again throughout the chorus of this song. It's a joy to hear.

"Comin' Home" is unbelieveably the only new Dallas song on this 10-song album. It really feels like a newer song as well, and you can hear a lot of passion in the vocals when Dallas repeats "I'm comin' home" in the chorus. I said this before, but it works so effectively and feels like it was written in a heartbeat. The music sounds similar to the previous song, with little licks of high-pitched picking every now and then over a nicenly strummed chord progression. "Casey's Song" is the only song on the album to include a kind of percussion, with heartbeat-style "Dum dum! Dum dum!" sounfs in the bridge. It's a very addictive song, and gives the album a much needed dose of cheerfulness. The album caps off with the melancholy efforts of "Sometimes (I Wish)", another slower song which reaches a full 6 minutes. The song feels like a build-up throughout, with string instruments slipping their way in at the 2 minute mark. But in the end, Dallas' effortless strumming of the guitar overshadows it all and accompanies the lyrics so well.

It's quite a simple note that from these songs, Dallas is a depressed guy. With many of the lyrics about loss of people, and of himself, and the music providing a sorrowful tune to his words, it's hard to see the appeal of this music. But besides from the lyrics, this is one hell of a relaxing album. It is recorded very well, with the acoustic guitars sounding perfect and the lesser-used instruments like piano and violins being used well in the songs to add that extra level of tension and emotion. Right now I have listened to this album and I do feel quite drowsy, but in a good way. His music has a certain charm to it, and it feels so monsterously different from anything Alexisonfire have done. Maybe that's the appeal of his music, I don't know. But I do know that he can pull out some incredibly basic and in some cases quite cliché music, that is desperate for you to listen and become addicted to. It's not the kind of music you would listen to on the way home from work or around town through your MP3 player, but more the kind you fall asleep to, the kind you listen to when you feel like Dallas is singing.

My only gripe with this album is that there is only 1 new real song. The rest were featured on his previous 2 efforts, The Death Of Me and the cleverly titled The Death Of Me EP. Still, the reworkings of the older songs feels miraculous, and really brings out Dallas' voice much more. So if you like acoustic music with a hint of sadness and depression, but at the same time want to be taken away by breathtaking and simple lyrics, I highly suggest looking into City And Colour.

[url]http://www.myspace.com/dallasgreen[/url] (Listen to "Save Your Scissors")



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user ratings (718)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Ross Delany (3.5)
Alexisonfire vocalist's solo effort is solid, but has room for improvement...

Old Uncle Al (3)
A promising debut, if a little on the repetitive side....


Comments:Add a Comment 
cliffdogg
October 31st 2005


4 Comments


Nice review, I'm gonna pick this up as soon as I go to the city.

Small towns with no record stores suck...

Coup__D_Etat
November 14th 2005


65 Comments


Dallas = City
Green = Colourrrrr.

Simple as.



Its a really calming album though, like Kif said, this is really nice to sleep to.' Caseys Song 'is probably my favourite at the minute, although it could have done with a new version of 'So Low'... I liked that song a lot

Zesty Mordant
November 14th 2005


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dallas = City
Green = Colourrrrr


ohhhhhh...I get it. Originally I just thought he opted to file his solo work under yet another stupidly "poetic" phrase that dominates this genre.

Cool stuff from what I've heard anyways. It's a shame "So Low" isn't on this. great review too.

Is it me or does he have a very Buckley-esque voice? (minus the seven-octave talent of course)

AtTheDriveIn198d
November 16th 2005


158 Comments


clever name, standard stuff. i think there's far to many people with an acoustic guitar singting sad songs about how there life sucks. They always have to cash in don't they?

masada
December 16th 2005


2733 Comments


Isn't if funny how this artist is #2 on the Indie charts, despite the fact that this only has 6 replies and is on 1 playlist? It also happens to have over 4,500 views...

Two-Headed Boy
December 18th 2005


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good album.This Message Edited On 01.24.07

Tyler
Emeritus
January 22nd 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I saw his acoustic set live two years ago. His voice sucked ass live. I saw Alexisonfire a few times when they still had their old drummer and his voice was lame then too. I hate this guy, passionitely

Two-Headed Boy
January 22nd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

you, sir, shall die

pulseczar
January 22nd 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have Dallas Green on msn :cool: but I don't like anything he's ever done.

Two-Headed Boy
January 22nd 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

... you must be god.

oioiboipoi
January 23rd 2006


1 Comments


color and city rox

truche
January 23rd 2006


5 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The lyrics are a little cliché.
*So why does it always seem
That every time I turn around
Sombody falls in love with me
*If I was a simple man........
Those lyrics are kinda weird.
I can't say it's a bad cd though. 3/5

Zesty Mordant
January 23rd 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

listening to it again, I have to say that the album doesn't hold up since my initial listen. His voice lacks a decent tessitura-- it's nearly always in that nasally tone. The lyrics are fairly trite as well.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 6th 2006


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I think the reason I can't even really have much respect for this album is because he's been quoted* as not really putting any effort into it.

*In an interview on the NewMusic here in Canada.

pulseczar
February 6th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^ Hah, that issue of the NewMusic was on tonight. Yeah he says that City and Colour is just for whenever he feels like it, hence "Sometimes".

Neurotoxin
February 7th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'll be seeing him live sometime in March, although I'm looking forward to seeing Machete Avenue, the supporting act, more than I'm looking forward to see him.This Message Edited On 02.07.06

meladoticwaves
February 19th 2006


3 Comments


wow i bought the album love the cd i like alexisonfire but alexisonfire lyrics arent as much as dallas can put out on this record i wish i could see his concert in london i rate this album 10 becuase usally every album has one song you hate i love every song on here and i love the acoustic guitar lyrics are really good and alexisonfire making a new album every body

meladoticwaves
February 19th 2006


3 Comments


wow i bought the album love the cd i like alexisonfire but alexisonfire lyrics arent as much as dallas can put out on this record i wish i could see his concert in london i rate this album 10 becuase usally every album has one song you hate i love every song on here and i love the acoustic guitar lyrics are really good and alexisonfire making a new album every body oh what his msn the person who has his msn

mx
Moderator
February 19th 2006


733 Comments


What is the musical diversity on this album. The stuff I heard was really simple, does it get boring?

Two-Headed Boy
February 24th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No. This stuff is really enjoyable, and you can easily just sit back and chill while this is playing. Something you really can't get enough of.
Dallas is coming to my town, but the show sold out.



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