Sound — 9
The vocal/lyrical genius Anthony Green, formerly of Saosin and the lesser known Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer, and presently of Circa Survive, has just added a solo album to his many musical projects. "Avalon" began as leaked demos, and slowly made it's way into a full album, with every percussive or stringed sound done by Green himself. Absent are the ambient guitars that are so distinctive with Circa Survive, but are pleasantly replaced with acoustic guitars, 2 to 3 layers of them per track. Of course, some tracks are purely acoustic, while others contain clean guitars mixed with bass and drums, so each song remains fairly diverse throughout. "Avalon" sprawls over a few genres as well, from straight acoustic comparable to Dallas Green's 'City And Colour' project, to lighthearted folk-rock reminiscent of Death Cab For Cutie. What Anthony Green has assembled is a mellow, although, unfortunately brief romp through his personal creativity, and what results is an ear pleasing collection of songs that may or may not appeal to fans of his previous work. Comparisons to his other projects aside, "Avalon" is a fantastic album that will leave you desperate for more of it.
Lyrics — 10
Those who have heard Green's previous work with Circa Survive and others, already know of his very high pitched voice synonymous with that of Craig Owens of Chiodos, or, to a lesser extent, Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria. He wails without being whiny, and belts out the lyrics while shows his range. New listeners will no doubt be skeptical to his vocals upon first, second, even third listens, but his infectious wails and soothing range are enough to impress. Anthony's lyrics have always been fairly abstract and slightly difficult to decipher, littered with metaphors and showcasing a large vocabulary. The lyrics on "Avalon" are fairly straightforward and simple, yet are still as powerful and meaningful as they've ever been. He never hesitates to express what he feels, thinks, sees, or hears. This unabashed style leads us to lines like "Keep your lonely eyes to yourself and fold away all your best clothes. Make sure all those mother f--king boys know she loves me so", displaying emotion in an almost taunting fashion. All the similes are still here, as heard in Drug Dealer; You'd be like a God to us, like a drug dealer, all sold out of drugs. You threw it away. No matter what he sings, it's guaranteed to be precise, thought provoking, and honest.
Overall Impression — 9
Of all of his numerous musical projects, this is by far Anthony Green's most bare boned, stripped down effort to date. It's very honest, and maintains the complexity we've grown to know and expect, all while remaining simple enough to appreciate every aspect of the music. It really feels like an album rather than a collection of souped-up demos, which contributes to its purity. The only flaw I can find is that at 11 tracks and just under 40 minutes, Avalon feels a bit too short. The lengthy instrumental intermission track Springtime Out The Van Window runs at about 4 minutes and 30 seconds, which is a bit too long for a fairly repetitive intermission. However, the other 10 tracks make up for it and can be listened through without skipping. No matter how many bands or side projects Anthony Green may get into, making music on his own brings out the best in him, regardless of the musical or lyrical content of his other works. And too much Anthony Green is never a bad thing.