City And Colour - Little Hell
I am always a sucker for folk-tinged songs of love, death and the human condition and this, the third solo outing from Alexisonfire man Dallas Green, is a sure fire winner. Opener ‘We Found Each Other In The Dark’ is a beautifully affecting love song that provides a teasingly gentle introduction before Green really finds his feet as on the hauntingly affecting ‘Grand Optimist’ and the musings on the nature of relationships on the fragile, acoustic guitar led title track. This sense of fragility permeates through the album even when Green brings the rock out, as on ‘Weightless’ and ‘Natural Disaster’, and to prevent that tipping over into saccharine mundanity, which he does almost effortlessly, is a sign of a truly great artist. The best is saved to almost the end with the organ heavy ‘Sorrowing Man’ providing blues rock brilliance reminiscent of the hugely underrated Alberta Cross. As the final chords of closer ‘Hope For Now’ fade away you are left with that rare thing: a side project that outstrips the music of the band that made the artist famous.