By Lauren Sloss | June 8th, 2011
There’s something to be said for a truly distinctive voice. Dallas Green, a Canadian singer-songwriter otherwise known as City and Colour, undoubtedly has one. Rich and clear, he’s not shy with the vibrato on his third album Little Hell, which was released this Tuesday. What’s interesting is the way in which Green seems to bend genre using his voice, calling to mind all kinds of parallel references that I would rarely think of when listening to his brand of pop-driven folk rock.
Basically, I keep thinking of R&B and soul music as I listen to Little Hell. There’s something in Green’s singing style, a certain kind of insouciance or swagger, that reminds me of John Legend. Or Robin Thicke. It particularly comes through in the album’s opener, “We Found Each Other in the Dark,” but is even evident in the lovely stripped down track “Northern Wind” (which is capped off with a wonderful addition of strings). Don’t get me wrong; this is not an R&B album. But Green is referencing the genre with his voice in a way that I found unsettling at first. And then, I really started to dig it.
He takes it to a whole new level with the powerful crescendo of “Sorrowing Man,” but really cuts loose on the album’s first single “Fragile Bird.” It’s got a killer beat and with that voice, it’s hard not to start shaking it a little bit,
Indie pop/soul fusion? I don’t see why not.