City and Colour: The Hurry and the Harm Album Review

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Tracklist:
01. The Hurry and The Harm
02. Harder Than Stone
03. Of Space and Time
04. The Lonely Life
05. Paradise
06. Commentators
07. Thirst
08. Two Coins
09. Take Care
10. Ladies and Gentlemen
11. The Golden State
12. Death’s Song
thehurryandtheharm It’s been two years since we’ve last heard new material from City and Colour, the solo project of Alexisonfire’s Dallas Green, and from the album artwork alone it was safe to assume that times were a changin’. In their three album existence never has Green’s face graced an album cover, and finally that moment has come. When announcing the album, Green sent out one of his favorite lyrics on the record as inspiration for the artwork and the quote goes: “I’ve always been dark, with light somewhere in the distance”. What resulted was an album cover that precisely fits what’s in store for listeners and what long time fans of City and Colour have been waiting for—an album that lies in the positive spectrum of things rather than the bleek alternative. What we’ve encountered is an album that has grown past Dallas Green’s melancholy drenched thoughts to something that’s found a beacon of hope, and it’s holding on for dear life.

“If I overstayed my welcome, I will take my friends and leave, ‘Cause I’m not trying to be revolutionary”

Fear not City and Colour die-hards, what you and I both love about this band remains true on The Hurry and the Harm despite this new-found positivity—Green’s knack for creating beautiful, sweeping melodies and transcending lyrics in what seems like a simple package but really lies in complexities we couldn’t even begin to comprehend. The album’s title track warmly introduces Dallas Green’s all too familiar falsetto as well as his emotionally strummed guitars that seem to be running along happier tones these days. Green sings “When did I let go to all that I used to know?/This grave mistake, has left an absence of hope/I’m going back to the start” and it’s at this point that sets in stone what this record is bound to do—an aim for change, light, and hope. It’s an assuring start to the album that also introduces the influences that recording in Nashville had for Green.

“I’ve always been dark, with light somewhere in the distance” This influence is best heard on “Harder Than Stone” where Green sings with an affirming gusto on top of a distinct country twang that will pull longtime fans even closer rather than alienate. It was clear in Green’s mind where the direction for this album would go and he seamlessly blends his classic acoustic sound with influences of country and blues to remain prominently in the City and Colour spectrum. It’s a powerful track that picks things up for Green, whose songs tend to be mid-pacers.

The light that’s always been in the distance for Dallas Green must have finally been captured while writing “Commentators” because it’s biting lyrics and overly addictive chorus purely embody optimism. Being so light-hearted, you begin to question whether or not this is coming out of the same City and Colour known for “Sleeping Sickness” but this feeling is quickly put to rest once you unconsciously start singing along. In this song Green turns his back on his haters and goes on with his life in a fashion one can only hope more people learn to do.

Even after eight years creating music under this moniker, The Hurry and the Harm finds Green continuing to grow musically. He set off on a mission to consciously change the tone and style he’s been known to with past albums and accomplished his goal. The Hurry and the Harm allows for Green’s dark questions and contemplations to express themselves but with new light while holding true to his City and Colour roots.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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