City and Colour

A Pill for Loneliness

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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger

As City and Colour, Canadian songsmith and reformed screamer Dallas Green has enjoyed an impressive run of success over the previous decade. Initially launched in the mid-2000s as a quiet, acoustic rebuttal to his post-hardcore band, Alexisonfire, the project gained new layers around the turn of the decade, resulting in a trio of dreamy, deeply introspective folk-pop albums, each of which topped the Canadian charts. 2015's soulful If I Should Go Before You was a warmly crafted gem that utilized Green's tight-knit live band and featured some of his sharpest writing to date. Arriving four years later, A Pill for Loneliness is an altogether lusher affair, which seems to sever ties with Green's more organic tendencies in favor of ethereal synths, textured guitar washes, and a sort of orange-hued, melancholic dream pop. Helping to nudge him in this direction is Jacquire King, a veteran American producer whose many credits include Kings of Leon, Dawes, and Modest Mouse. Tonally, this is a beautiful collection and the deeply layered backdrops create an apt showcase for Green's aching tenor vocals. Album standout "Astronaut" is a subtly thrilling cut with a captivating arrangement, a soaring crescendo, and one of the sweetest melodies you'll hear in awhile. Likewise, "Imagination" uses its shimmering Wall of Sound to great effect, bending its celestial mass around a pounding rock beat. The misty ballad "Me and the Moon" is another gorgeous track built around Green's soaring vocals that hits its mark squarely. At times, however, A Pill for Loneliness suffers from its own consistency as one vaporous, albeit pretty, track blends into the next without leaving much of an impact. Still, as a vehicle for Green's talents, it hits enough highs to mark another worthwhile chapter in City and Colour's development.

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