City and Colour strikes gold again with its fifth album titled If I Should Go Before You. The band preserves its deep and solemn lyrics accompanying its melodious sounds, but definitely has changed from previous album The Hurry and the Harm, opting for a newer mixture of southern blues, and rock. This album is the most consistent in its sound throughout as compared to the bands previous EPs.
Dallas Green continues to grow as an artist, electing for a more southern, soulful, and dark entrance to the album with “Woman,” an interesting and eerie introduction, which is drawn out at over nine minutes. He displays his mesmerizing and iconic falsetto throughout the album once more, which I personally find to be one of the most captivating features of his work. It is also interesting to see this track in contrast to “The Girl” from his 2008 release Bring Me Your Love. Green is visibly expressing his maturing tastes and terminology.
“If I Should Go Before You” portrays a much more Latin-Alternative inspired base, pulling forward an influence from gentle and somber-Californian-style riffs, while incorporating tambourine. Green showcases his feelings of death and his commitments to an endless love.
Midway through the EP, “Killing Time” shifts the tone of the album with a more upbeat feel using more staccato electric guitar. “Wasted Love” captures this vibe as well, incorporating a more bluesy and breathy set of lyrics. There is definitely more of a rock base coming forward for this track.
My personal favorite on the album is “Lover Come Back.” This is a must-listen. The lyrics are fluid and the balance between the harmonies and the band’s accompaniment is flawless. The band incorporates piano within the track, a nice addition that adds another unique layer to City and Colour’s evolving sound. I think everyone can relate to the song’s chorus, expressing the regret we feel when we lose someone we love.
Moving toward the end of the album, “Friends” reinstates the more southern blues inspired sound established in the beginning of the EP. The band comes forth more prominently here, with many solo sections accompanying Green’s soft lyrics based on his insecurities.
“Blood” ends the album beautifully, capturing Green’s feelings on his hard work over the years and more solemn articulations on the differences between what is on the surface and what we actually feel.