City and Colour – Little Hell Review

With Alexisonfire splitting up earlier this year, it seems as though Dallas Green’s side project, City and Colour, has now become his full time gig. While I enjoyed much of what Alexisonfire brought to the table, Green was always the part of the equation that stood out for me. With “Little Hell” offering more of a “band sound” than his previous acoustic-tinged releases, I have no complaints what-so-ever about both Green’s and the band’s decision to part ways.

“Little Hell” sees Green joined by Daniel Romano of Attack in Black, Dylan Green and Scott Remila of Raising the Fawn, Nick Skalkos of The Miniatures, Misha Bower of Bruce Peninsula and Anna Jarvis and Jordan Mitchell of The Rest. The result is a fuller, lusher sound that other City and Colour outings. The title track “Fragile Bird” and “Weightless” are great examples of this. The album also sounds less produced, but the imperfections and the squeal of guitar string only add to the album’s sorrowful musical and lyrical landscape. Case in point, the track “The Grand Optimist” does not convey any of the feeling its title suggests.

Overall, the album acts as a continuing step in City and Colour’s releases. While “Bring Me Your Love” built on “Sometimes” acoustic guitar driven sound with folk influenced banjos, harmonicas and drums, “Little Hell” takes it one step further by offering the listener an even more layered recording.

Catch City and Colour at the Burton Cummings Theatre on February 3rd, 2012.

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