Side-project turned main venture City & Colour have come a long way from the days of 2005’s debut ‘Sometimes’, and Dallas Green alone gradually developed into a full band experience across releases, culminating in fifth full-length album, entitled ‘If I Should Go Before You’. This release manages to establish a long-sought middle ground between the stripped down earlier work that established this project and the new direction that the band took once it became Green‘s sole venture. It’s this middle ground that will unify the fans and make this album a large success.
Album opener and lead single ‘Woman’ sets a blues-y, prolonged introduction echoed across the record before ‘Northern Blues’ presents a catchier return to the usual song set-up. What’s crucial to note is Green‘s willingness to push his vocal range higher than usual, but with a lot more power than previous efforts. This point is demonstrated perfectly on second single ‘Wasted Love’, the final note of which packs force despite the high note.
Part of building a bridge to the middle ground between records is the return of a country music vibe, harking back to the days of ‘Bring Me Your Love’ faster paced tracks, such as ‘Map Of The World’, and more traditional number ‘Runaway’ really show a return to the roots of City & Colour. In a similar vein, tracks such as third single ‘Lover Come Back’ and the album’s title-track keep the unashamed love ballads that Green is renowned for delivering so well.
Curtain closer ‘Blood’ finishes the record with a beautiful, delicate, and heartfelt offering emotionally delivered by Green, and accentuated by the introduction of harmonising female vocals. This track rounds off the album perfectly, echoing the sentiment put into each City & Colour record to date. Hopefully, even with the rumours of the potential permanent reformation of Alexisonfire, Green will still be able to focus on City & Colour enough to produce more albums as great as this.
Written by Jon Barlow (@Narlow1)