City and Colour Little Hell

City and Colour Little Hell
Dallas Green's success as City and Colour was one of the catalysts behind the almost implosion of Alexisonfire and their subsequent rebirth with 2009's Old Crows/Young Cardinals. Written while on tour for that record, Little Hell (Green's third solo outing) displays none of the acrimony that birthed his other act's reinvention. Instead, it follows in the footsteps of the first two records, chronicling Green's usual lyrical tropes of love and heartbreak. Little Hell was recorded in late friend Dan Achen's converted church studio in Hamilton, ON with his regular backing musicians (Dylan Green and Scott Remila from Raising the Fawn and Attack in Black frontman Dan Romano), having all the hallmarks of a professional-sounding studio album. Unfortunately, in smoothing out his compositions with piano, bass and drums, Green has lost much of the intimacy that drew fans to his music in the first place. As well, he didn't really use the studio for sonic experimentation. "Grand Optimist" and "Fragile Bird," the two least conventional songs on the record, are also its best. Little Hell will no doubt satisfy fans that have fallen in love with Green's plaintive voice. But at best, it's a benign record that fails to lift Green, a very talented songwriter, to the next artistic level. (Dine Alone)