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Album Review

City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You

City & Colour - If I Should Go Before You

City and Colour’s acoustic flare has found its place in a bigger mix of styles.

Label: Dine Alone Records/Caroline International
Released: 9th October 2015

Rating: ★★★★

If the new City and Colour album was a film of sorts, it would start in a bar. Smoke filled, the group would be sitting on a haphazard array of boxes in the corner, jamming out in the dimly lit den. Once you get beyond the nine minute epic of ‘Woman’, you’ll find that they’re soulful, they’re finding their feet and growing between songs. ‘Mizzy C’ has a strong storytelling lilt, and by the moment ‘Killing Time’ comes round, they’ve nailed that suave vibe.

Then they head out into the world. ‘Wasting Love’ brings a real attitude beginning to beat through their smooth exterior in a stand-out of the album, where ‘Runaway’ is them rambling down a road in sun-scorched heat. Out here the acoustic side of City and Colour comes back to centre-stage, ‘Love Come Back’ proving a calm rest-stop as ‘Map of the World’ encompasses the an upbeat sense of exploration.

Then comes where you take a well earned seat and reflect: ‘Friends’ slows things down for reminiscence, maybe the slow-mo replays of their journey. ‘Blood’ slows it further, a delicate closing: “I want to put a few miles down. I’d like to feel my two feet on the ground.”

When a seamless plot appears in your mind from the mere vibe of an album, it’s successful in traversing styles without jarring the listener. City and Colour’s acoustic flare has found its place in a bigger mix of styles, the production is refined and, really, ‘If I Should Go Before You’ offers more than just a lyrical story, where you find yourself inadvertently wandering down hot streets from the comfort of your own couch. Heather McDaid