Oh, Dallas Green. If every rose has it’s thorns, then Alexisonfire are the thorns and Dallas Green is the rose head. Who knew he, by any other name, would smell as sweet. Even sweeter actually. And that name is City & Color. Alright, hold up. It is a little unfair to yap about Alexisonfire when talking about City & Color, especially since it’s Dallas Green’s third solo album.
I wish I was coming into this album as tabula rasa, but hey, I live in Canada, I’ve watched MuchMusic as a teenager. I am well aware of City & Color’s commercial success with “Save Your Scissors,” “Coming Home,” and “Casey’s Song.” Simply put, I had expectations. Listening to the album felt like what I imagine Katy Perry felt like when she kissed a girl; I wasn’t sure it’s for me, I was taken back, and I liked it.
This album is different. While past albums had a raw, acoustic element to them, this album feels a bit more textured and polished. The album seems more grown up. Dallas Green doesn’t scream from the top of his lungs “Break me” anymore, he explains his emotions in a calm voice. It’s melodic and folky. It’s city in softer color.
The title song is tucked away at track number four, serving as the most familiar on the album. In this song, Dallas lets us know that he is still vulnerable and of course, complicated (“There’s a degree of difficulty in dealing with me”). “Northern Wind” is one of the simpler songs, stripped from back-up vocals and showy guitars. This is the sort of song I associate with City and Color in the first place, the kind that pulls on the guitar strings of your heart. “Hope For Now” is also a strong song. It is the last track and it’s a crossover between City and Color raw emotion and Alexisonfire tough attitude.
Overall, Little Hell is a nice feast of folky tracks, raw indie tracks that we know and love, as well tracks that switched it up a bit. If you like what you hear, come to the Calgary Folk Music Festival on July 21st to see Dallas Green in action.
Tags: City & Color – Little Hell Album Review