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You+Me – Rose Ave

Lisa Ward

Triangle

When you take a prolific pop artist and someone who’s career started in a post-hardcore band, on paper the results should be dubious. Nevertheless, when it’s Alicia Moore (aka P!nk) teaming up with Dallas Green (better known as City & Colour), the finished product becomes a sparse album filled with heartfelt ballads.

That’s not to say it’s all downbeat or fuelled with vocal duets and acoustic guitars, but the variation in the tracks is subtle. The drumbeat of opener Capsized and the strings of Break The Cycle are delicate enough to ensure it’s the lyrics and vocals which carry the tracks. Meanwhile, when they do strip it back to just an acoustic guitar in From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues), the end result is breathtaking. It’s here you can hear the subtle picking of the guitar and the gasps of breath between lines which add a layer of emotion and an honesty not often found in commercial music.

Lead single You + Me is the highlight of the album; a classic love song filled with thoughts of imperfection, the thing which has often carried Alicia’s solo ballads. Meanwhile Open Door carries something of a trademark City and Colour sound with a similar feel to Comin’ Home. Though there are clear influences of both artists, they remain true to their new name with each song ensuring both have an equal weighting within each track. For the Dallas fans it’s likely to be songs like Love Gone Wrong which have the biggest appeal, bringing with it solo performances for each artist on the verses and unfolding into beautiful duets on the choruses. Whilst for Alicia’s supporters it’s likely to be Second Guess which has the biggest draw, her delicate intonation carrying the track.

The album as a whole is able to transport you to a place where you feel like you might be stood in the barren fields that the artwork depicts, and in the end it’s the lack of over polished, big band production that makes it such a winner. This is proven by Unbeliever which sees the addition of a heavy organ sound that brings little to the track and renders it almost unlistenable. Nevertheless on their cover of Sade’s No Ordinary Love they nail it, moving away from the polished pop original to a more country/folk number which slips effortlessly onto the end of the album, almost allowing you to forget it’s a cover.

Irrespective of which artist may have brought you to this collaboration it’s impossible not to be swept off your feet by both of them by the closing beats of the album. Sure it’s more downbeat than might have been predicted on paper, but their voices blend faultlessly and their desire to step away from what might have been expected serves to highlight the duo’s desire to create innovative music, breaking the mould with great success.