City and Colour

A Pill for Loneliness

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    7
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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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