Review: Anthony Green – Would You Still Be In Love

My first thought upon first listen to Anthony Green’s surprise solo album, Would You Still Be In Love, was, “How the hell can he be this prolific?!” In the last decade, Green has been the frontman for both Circa Survive and Saosin while releasing five solo records. Somehow, Would You Still Be In Love is as beautiful as it is terrifying. For each image beautifully painted of absolute love, there is a tear in the canvas showing the struggle with mental illness on the other side.

You can buy Would You Still Be In Love on Apple Music.

Green’s solo albums have always experimented with genre, but they have usually been at their best at the acoustic level. Aside from sparsely used percussion and a haunting violin, the majority of Would You Still Be In Love consists of gorgeously melodic acoustic tracks that make the lyrics much darker than they otherwise may have been. While Green pours over his struggles and things begin crashing down, you can hear the beauty of the world around him that he’s trying to reach.

As usual, Green’s lyrics are stunning. The album is a surprisingly dark one that uses stark imagery to show the struggles of mental illness in a relationship. Opener “Vera Lynn” is arguably the poppiest song Green has ever written. It also is a song about the fear of becoming musically irrelevant. It’s both a warning to himself and an understanding of his profession as he sings, “Someday if you hit the big one, everybody wants some from you / It won’t last / Cause then one day you’ll bite the big one / Everyone will move onto somebody new”.

“Love”, a cover from the song made famous in Disney’s Robin Hood animated movie, is a sweet homage to his family. It also sets the tone for how wonderful things can be before collapsing. “You’re So Dead Meat” is where the first doubts begin to pour in about his music. There are lines that show the struggle with art in ways I have never heard before, such as, “These strings are so dead / Holding off on changing them / until one day they will just break”, or “Why should I put everything into all these songs you just steal?”

“When I Come Home” is the showstopper of the record. It highlights the struggle of dealing with personal issues and watching against your own will as things appear to fall to pieces. The song weighs the pressure between true and failed love as Green sings, “Don’t blame me if I’m right / You were always on your way out / You can take your time, I’ll be patient / Don’t hate me if I say, ‘If there’s something I can change’ / You’d still be in love when I come home”.

Closer “Real Magic” manages to find solace with his struggles and ties off his fears. Coming to terms with his fears as a musician from earlier in the album, “Real Magic” justifies the struggles of writing such personal songs as he sings, “Everyday there’s something tragic that helps somebody else”.

Would You Still Be In Love sits amongst Anthony Green’s best solo albums. As tragic as it is redeeming, the record feels complete at nine songs long. Extremely personal, thematic and honest, Green shows yet again that he’s never left the top of his game.

4/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and listened to this album at 6 am on a Saturday morning because sleeping in is for quitters.

 

Review: Anthony Green – Young Legs

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There’s a little something for everyone when it comes to the music of Anthony Green. The man has become one of the more notable icons in the scene through his array of projects, each showcasing a different angle of his recognizable vocal abilities. Not a fan of the post-hardcore chaos of Saosin? Check out the experimental art rock of The Sound of Animals Fighting. Not into the ambient alt-rock of Circa Survive? Throw on the mellow indie rock of his solo outings.

Of course, with so many different musical personalities, it’s easy to understand why one might feel a bit fragmented when following his work. Over time though, Green’s musical endeavors have begun to swing closer and closer to a central point, melding into his most recent release, Young Legs. This new album is the most seamless and unified effort of his solo career, and thus, it is certainly his best.

A large reason for the uniform atmosphere of Young Legs is the addition of Good Old War, a band that has often contributed backing assistance to Green, but this time provides the soundscape of the entire record. With ease, they transition themselves to fit whatever emotion Green is emitting and provide the perfect backdrop.

The album’s opener, “Breaker”, sounds like an extension of last year’s Circa Survive outing, Violent Waves, but with a more personal feel. The guitar work on the latter half of the song is captivating and grabs your attention without distracting from the song itself. It’s an excellent choice to kick of the album. “100 Steps” is a piano driven number with a building chorus that sounds like it belongs somewhere on soft-rock radio.

As for Green’s vocals, they’ve never sounded better. “When You Sang to Me” finds Green at his best, effortlessly crooning the ghostly chorus of “I wasn’t the only one awake when you sang to me”. Likewise, the quiet and somber “I’ll Miss You” showcases the soft layered, haunting vocals that Green pulls off better than anyone. The slow acoustic track, “Conversation Piece”, is simple in sound, but complex in its delivery, with Green painfully singing, “The very thing that made me want you in the first place is what’s driving me away”.

Anthony Green has always been well adored for his vocal ability, but what makes Young Legs so special is his willingness to corral and harness his delivery. His vocals manage to express pain, confusion and joy throughout the album’s 11 tracks without ever resorting to his screechy upper register. The constraint is appropriate and allows the richness of his voice to shine through on each and every song. It turns out, Anthony Green is an even better singer than we knew.

Green’s solo releases have always felt like a special treat for those who clung tightly to his other projects. However, both Avalon and last year’s Beautiful Things often felt more like collections of b-sides and random ideas – not poor work, but disjointed in their presentation. Young Legs triumphs by standing alone as a cohesive work of art that feels complete from front to back. As Green has grown as an artist, he has become noticeably more confident and controlled in his output, and with Young Legs, he has once again set a new standard for himself and generated even more excitement for his future work.

4/5

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

Anthony Green streams new album “Young Legs”

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Anthony Green is currently streaming his new album Young Legs at his website.

The album is a follow-up to last year’s Beautiful Things and was recorded earlier this year with Good Old War serving as the back up band. The official release date for the album is November 12. You can preorder the album on iTunes.