It seems almost hard to believe that City And Colour‘s debut album came out nearly fifteen years ago. Well, five albums later, Dallas Green is still creating soft, moving tracks that simmer with an air of honest reflection.
While his newest offering, the delicately titled ‘A Pill For Loneliness’, comes a surprisingly distanced four years after its predecessor, ‘If I Should Go Before You’, Green isn’t mixing things up too much after his longest gap between albums – and nor does he need to.
As a project, City And Colour has long mastered the knack of crafting heartfelt musicianship laced with powerful lyricism and gentle melodies, and that remains the way here. The only noticeable difference you might pick up on is that here, Green‘s lyricism reeks of a man with years of floating around the music scene, as if flicking back through the photo albums to reminisce and reflect on his career so far. As such, Green‘s lyrics here recount life touring away from home, the feelings that being away from loved ones can bring, and the effects a life on the road has on relationships.
Straight in with ‘Living In Lightning’, lines like “Yearning to wander through and through / At times I’ve been battered and bruised” and “I’ve been living in lightning / For what seems like eternity” paint their own sorrowful picture of loneliness. Lead single ‘Astronaut’ – where Green feels “Like an astronaut / Above the curvature of the Earth / Just a wanderer” – only adds more colour and definition to this theme, highlighting why the album’s title so poignantly and rightfully fits its content so aptly.
And yet, while further tracks proceed to evaluate relationships and problems faced within them (such as ‘Mountain Of Madness’, ‘Imagination’, and ‘Song Of Unrest’), you’d be forgiven for thinking that Green has created possibly the most miserable record of all time, but that’s far from accurate. As ever, he finds a way to blend such personal, sombre topics with beautifully warm melodic notes across a sonically pleasant and enjoyable landscape, morphing and shifting into almost uplifting moments of euphoria, like ‘Difficult Love’ and ‘Strangers’.
Dallas Green shows on City And Colour‘s sixth full-length release not only where his journey has taken him, casting a thoughtful backwards glance over his shoulder at a career so far, but that his ability to fashion charming songwriting with great lyricism stills fails to disappear.