Album Name: If I Should Go Before You
Band: City and Colour
Release Date: October 9, 2015
The wind is blowing wild and the trees are getting bare. Thanksgiving dinner has been devoured and we’re packing on layers of fat and fleece for warmth. So take a crunchy step outside, put on the headphones, and listen to ‘If I Should Go Before You,’ by City and Colour.
Don’t let the fact that the first track is 9 minutes long scare you away. Consider it an opportunity to slow your heart rate like a frog hibernating for winter. Recalibrate to the sound of droning guitar, trudging bass, and of course, Dallas Green’s irresistible voice.
This album’s greatest strength is it’s instrumental palette. The choice of guitar tones alone ranges from Jack White crunch to 60’s shimmer to country slide – often vibing with some rotary keyboard to create a unique “Northern Blues” style. It’s cool and it’s tasteful.
Also important to note is that ‘If I Should Go Before You’ scores high on the Sing-Along scale. City and Colour historically tends to fall into specific melodic habits but I think he does a great job of mixing it up more on this album. I guarantee if you listen to the track “Lover Come Back” a couple of times you’re going to compulsively need to sing along every time you hear it.
The reason ‘If I Should Go Before You’ is still on my frequent listening list 5 years after its release is that while it’s cohesive from beginning to end – each song keeps it fresh with a different genre in the City and Colour repertoire. One at a time, he serves us complimentary flavours of country, blues and folk while remaining rooted in rock – a real Canadiana combo. Like turkey, sweet potato and corn.