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Album Review

City And Colour

Sometimes (2005)



Dallas green is, quite possibly, the most diversely talented musician of the screamo scene. His acoustic side-project, City and Colour, may be a far cry from the high-energy, heart-pumping sound of Alexisonfire, but it’s just as addictive.

Sometimes, the 10-track debut album, has a beautifully mellow sound – perfect for chilling out before going to sleep, studying (if you’re into that sort of thing…), and those romantic moments with your sweetheart. Especially the last bit! It saves having to burn a sappy mix of Mariah Carey and K-Ci & JoJo to impress your not-so-musically-educated girlfriend… plus, it’s actually good. Could you ask for more? (I suppose you could, if you really wanted. Greedy bastard!)

The first single off the album is entitled “Save Your Scissors”, and it’s the reason I was so pumped to review this album to begin with. (Okay, that’s an understatement. I begged, pleaded, threatened… it really wasn’t very dignified, but it was definitely worth it.) “Save Your Scissors” is one of those catchy tunes that, even if you hate Dallas Green and everything he comes into contact with, you’ll find yourself singing along to. Despite your best efforts to hide it, you’ll probably even know all the words.

You deny it… but you know it’s true. Or, if you’re man enough to admit you like the song, you could be thinking to yourself, “…but, it’s only one song. The guy could’ve just lucked out on this track, right?” Nope. Wrong. I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you, but the whole CD’s just as good. Sure, that could easily be chalked up to the fact that, “Save Your Scissors” and “Comin’ Home” aside, the other eight tracks sound very similar. But hey… if the shoe fits, make seven more and call it an album! (Or something like that.)

Alright, I admit it. As much as I love this album, the fact that a lot of the songs sound a little too similar is, potentially, a major setback. But one thing you have to take into consideration is the fact that this is an acoustic album. There’s no bass or drums or any of that fun stuff to give the songs an extra jolt. It’s just Dallas and his guitar, bearing his musical soul. And in truth, even though most of the songs share definite similarities, the album never gets boring. Each song sounds strikingly similar, and yet they’re also each strikingly unique. Make sense? I didn’t think so.

It all boils down to the vocals. Dallas Green has a fantastic voice… few people can dispute that. It’s very raw, but never off-key – sort of like the lyrics. You won’t find any outlandish metaphors on this album; the lyrics are all very simple. Not kindergarten simple, just “This is me. Take it or leave it,” simple.

The guitar, too, remains very basic, aside from a few little accents here and there – particularly on the tracks “Comin’ Home” (my personal favourite), “Sam Malone”, and “Hello, I’m Delaware”. In that sense, the guitar reflects and accents the lyrics. The sound of the album is so honest; it’s what’s so appealing to listeners. So many artists focus on producing insanely complex songs in an effort to stand out from the crowd, but with this album, Dallas Green manages to stand out from the crowd by shifting the focus from complexity to simplicity. As a result, you have an album that is positively dripping with music made for no reason other than the love of making music. Refreshing. And fucking brilliant.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. Off By Heart
02. Like Knives
03. Hello, I’m in Delaware
04. Save Your Scissors
05. In The Water I Am Beautiful
06. Day Old Hate
07. Sam Malone
08. Comin’ Home
09. Casey’s Song
10. Sometimes (I Wish)

Run Time: 45:54