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CD Review: BARONESS – Yellow & Green

| 24 August 2013 | Reply

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Rating: 9/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

Yellow & Green is the third studio release from Savannah, Georgia based Baroness.  Packaged as a double album, it should actually be viewed as two separate albums release simultaneously, one Yellow and one Green.  Each has its own theme and feel, building on the concepts presented in 2007’s Red album and 2009’s Blue.  Released on July 17, 2012, Yellow & Green represents a continued evolution from Baroness’s metal/punk roots to an eclectic blend of sludge, stoner, and alternative rock, with retro flashbacks from the ‘80’s.

Each disc begins with a theme, with the opening track for Yellow aptly titled “Yellow Theme”.  It foreshadows a set of songs that are relatively subdued and introspective, with an alternative rock feel.  The second track, “Take My Bones Away”, was the first single.  It is a classic alt rocker, with a driving beat that sits in a nice groove.  The album continues in that vein with “March to the Sea” and “Little Things”, and then takes a turn with the quiet, haunting “Twinkler”.  “Twinkler” quickly segues into “Cocainium” a psychedelic number, reminiscent of The Stone Roses.  Baroness keeps the momentum going with the next two tracks, “Back Where I Belong” and “Sea Lungs”, ending the Yellow disc with”Eula”.  This last song under Yellow is one of my favorites from the release, with a feel that reminds me of latter day Thrice.

As with the Yellow disc, the Green disk starts with the “Green Theme”, and gives the listener a hint regarding what is coming next.  It starts with a feel similar to Yellow, but then breaks into a harder section, announcing that the Green CD will be a little harder and darker than Yellow.  Following a pattern similar to Yellow, the second track, “Board Up the House” has a classic alt rock feel, but keeping with the theme of Green it is a little harder than Yellow’s “Take My Bones Away”.  Next up is “Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)” which is also reminiscent of softer Thrice.  Green moves along with “Foolsong” and”Collapse”, followed by “Psalms Alive”.  PA opens with a bit of a shuffle beat in first half, then picks up some intensity, with the closest thing to a scream on the whole double album, but still stops short.  “Stretchmarker” is an instrumental track that starts with acoustic guitar reminiscent of Extreme’s “More Than Words”, but builds and flows in a way that quickly makes you forget about that earworm.  Green then peaks with “The Line Between”, a straight forward rocker, and ends with the introspective instrumental “If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry”.

Overall I can see how Yellow & Green ended up on many “Best of 2012” lists.  There is no filler to be found on this 18 track 76 minute release.  Even though few songs stand out, every song is solid.  You will not find yourself head banging while listening to it, but it will capture your attention from beginning to end.

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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