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Album Review: City and Colour - 'The Love Still Held Me Near'

Updated: May 3, 2023

Dallas Green remains unchallenged in our view as the most underrated vocalist in alt music today with his work on The Love Still Held Me Near. The album represents Green's seventh under the name City and Colour (Dallas Green, get it?) The album opens with the incomparable single "Meant to Be" where Green sings his heart out.

Far too often we see artists take heartache and loss and make something tragically beautiful out of it. The Love Still Held Me Near is another example of Green doing just that. Within a year, Green lost two important people in his life, his cousin with whom he created his first band and his longtime producer. To add onto this, Green temporarily separated from his partner of 11 years during this time period.

What I think I often forget to appreciate when I listen to Green's music is the beauty of his compositions. The way the guitar rips throughout "Fucked it Up" tears a whole in the listener's heart and takes you deep into what Green is expressing. The lyrics of "Things We Choose to Care About" really hits home with the pain in Green's heart as the record was being made.

Now don't get me wrong, The Love Still Held Me Near isn't just a sob story. As Green notes via press release: "It's not specifically about those events...It's just an overarching theme of loss and the idea of trying to get through it." So while the emotion is there, it's musically and stylistically a moving piece that is aggressive in nature. It has differing movements throughout and might be one of Green's most adventurous albums to date. It's great to continue to see Green move and grow with each new album. His music continues to feel more and more grandiose as he goes. I'm struggling to decide where this ranks in Green's albums, I still think I'm a sucker for A Pill for Loneliness, but this one is damn good.

Rating - 5/5

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