And finally… the moment you’ve all been waiting for, my number one album of 2008, by a landslide, is City and Colour’s amazing sophomore album, Bring Me Your Love.From the first sweet guitar chords of this album, through the tales of love, loss, and heartbreak, I was entranced by the sheer beauty in each song. Dallas Green (get it, a city, and a color? genius!) has an amazing quality with song writing, in that he completely wraps his heart around an emotion, and expresses it in such beautiful prose that I can really feel each break in his heart. Dallas’ stripped down acoustic style, accompanied by his incredibly beautiful and soothing voice really take each one of these songs to a level of mastery that I haven’t seen by many artists; both this year, and in my lifetime. With no facetiousness in this statement at all, I can say that Dallas Green has made a life long fan out of me with this album, and after becoming acquainted with his debut album under the name of City and Colour, I have definitely found someone that I would consider a favorite artist of mine; there aren’t many artists that I feel compelled to get everything they put out (demos, live tracks, bonuses, etc.), and City and Colour is definitely one of those very, very few. (thank GOD he is intent on using outlets like iTunes to churn these out, and I can easily get my hands on them!)
Luckily, I was able to catch him live this year, and armed with just his guitar and a microphone, he sat in his chair and poured his heart out in his music, and I completely loved every minute of it. The confidence in his lyrics and songs are coupled with this shy quality from the man singing them that make each track that much more beautiful and tender. Dallas Green himself is quite the handsome fellow as well; what can I say, a beard, black rimmed glasses, and tattoos just do it for me. It doesn’t hurt that his voice is one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, and that he can write a song unlike most, capturing true emotion and love in a lyric. While I loved this album instantly, there are a few tracks that literally give me the chills because of how powerful and amazing they are. Sensible Heart, in particular, is definitely one of my favorite songs of all time. I can listen to it on repeat, and ever since I discovered this amazing album earlier this year, I have been. In fact, I have been listening to this album more and more with each passing month of 2008, and with each subsequent listen, I fall deeper in love with the pure passion that exists within these songs. It isn’t often that you come across an artist that is as truly understated, and as talented in song writing, orchestration, and singing as Dallas Green, and his work as City and Colour has captivated me in a way that I can’t explain. This music literally moves me, and I am more than thrilled that I randomly discovered it earlier this year.
Perhaps a sweet present to remind me that his album is the best of 2008, Dallas released a special edition of Bring Me Your Loveearlier in December, which was limited to 5000 copies. I managed to snag one, and was elated to see an inclusion of two new, and equally amazing tracks that compliment the previous release perfectly. Additionally, a second disc of demos really highlights the sheer talent that Dallas possesses in making music; the slight nuances in his guitar playing and singing are the stuff of real beauty. Honestly, I have said it many times in this review, but if I could describe City and Colour’s music with one word, it would probably be beautiful; because everything that I have heard thus far is nothing less than completely that. By far, Bring Me Your Loveis my favorite album of 2008, and for me, it was hands down the best album released all year. There wasn’t anything that captured my attention in the way that this acoustic folk-rock masterpiece did, and if there is any justice, City and Colour is surely going to be on many other people’s list of favorite artists in the future. Dallas Green is definitely my Sara Bareilles of 2008; he captured my attention with his amazing talent and beautiful music, and I am blown away by his amazing sophomore album, Bring Me Your Love,which is again by far, the best album I heard in 2008.
Standouts: Sensible Heart [audio:http://www.duanemoody.com/audio/fsf_829_cityandcolour-sensibleheart.mp3]
Against the Grain [audio:http://www.duanemoody.com/audio/cityandcolour-againstthegrain.mp3]
Body in a Box [audio:http://www.duanemoody.com/audio/fsf_718_cityandcolour-bodyinabox.mp3]
The Girl [audio:http://www.duanemoody.com/audio/cityandcolour-thegirl.mp3]
As Much As I Ever Could, What Makes a Man?, Sleeping Sickness, Constant Knot, Waiting.