Pink and City and Color mesh well for You+Me


By Stephanie Roman / Staff Writer

Spinning You+Me’s nascent album, rose ave., via iTunes or Spotify feels utterly anachronistic. It belongs on your parents’ dusty record shelves alongside Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan, yet it features some of the most contemporary recording artists: Alecia Moore (American superstar Pink) and Dallas Green (multi-Juno Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter known as City and Colour).

The folksy, quiet and contemplative side of writing is nothing new for Green, but Moore’s history with in-your-face pop-rock songs like “So What” and “Get the Party Started” belies a tenderness hinted at in her collaborative hit “Just Give Me a Reason.” Green and Moore have showcased their abilities before, unexpectedly during a live performance of Green’s song, “What Makes a Man,” so their full-length cooperative effort makes for an excellent surprise. Mixing Green’s expertise and falsetto with Moore’s earthy contralto and affinity for lyrics results in an immensely satisfying side project. 

The album is punctuated with paltry amounts of percussion, brief orchestration, dependence on guitar patterns and lots of metal slide work on Green’s behalf. The first track, “Capsized,” begins with a rhythmic, slow, temporal strumming and the haunting tones of Green singing, “We’ve got a long way to go,” which is answered by Moore’s, “Winds are howling.” Then they harmonize on the line, “I can feel it in my bones” — a prolonged phrase that lingers on both of their vocal ranges. They ask, “Are we drowning?,” which reflects quite literally the breath lost by the communion of their voices.

In a great move, Green and Moore harmonize much of the album. Their voices are widely known separately, so there isn’t a lot to expect there. A couple tracks meander and slow the pace even further than a typical folk song, so the attraction comes in the darker and faster paced movements. The titular “You and Me,” which they’ve performed on talk shows such as “Ellen” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” strongly asserts itself as the most complex track, though it is maintained mostly by Green’s singular guitar. 

Despite a slightly clichéd chorus, the catchy harmony sticks out: “They say everything it happens for a reason/ You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person/ Someone who will be there when you start to fall apart/ Guiding your direction when you’re riding through the dark.” This one really jives with music the 1960s produced, an homage and throwback to the American folk revival, while remaining current with its story about friends coming together.

Finally, the decrescendoing “Break the Cycle” and “Open Door” are both love letters to the artists’ parents. “Break the Cycle” explores the structure of a round, echoing the lines, “Break the cycle/ Break the chains/ ‘Cause love is louder than all your pain,” in, by far, the most poppy-sounding but powerfully sentimental support song. It also contains the most ear-catching intro, sporting a super dramatic cut in via string orchestra at a volume scaled well above anything else the album aspires to.

Finally, in a weird spurt, the album closes on an acoustic cover of Sade’s 1992 single, “No Ordinary Love.” It’s completely unrecognizable, which might spurn some serious R&B fans, but, to be honest, You+Me probably won’t interest them much anyway.

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