Yellow & Green review by Baroness

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  • Released: Jul 17, 2012
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (46 votes)
Baroness: Yellow & Green
1

Sound — 9
I'll be honest - I had never listened to Baroness before listening to write this review. After listening to the first three songs on the album I went back and started at the beginning of their discography. Then I listened to them again. Then I started reading about them, and discovered they live in the same state as me, and somehow I had never encountered them before. I feel like I've seriously lost time in my life when I could have been enjoying their music, but I'm definitely loving their stuff now. They have a very unique sound by the way they blend progressive rock and metal with sludge and the best elements of alternative metal. The double album I am reviewing "Yellow and Green" is no exception, and is almost a masterpiece. I find myself excited about this album as I only get for half a dozen or so album releases a year, and doubly so as Baroness is a new discovery for me. After having listened to their full length studio releases I can say you can hear their sound evolve but in a way of more coming into their own instead of any really sudden dramatic changes. "Yellow and Green" is definitely not as heavy as some of their previous work, so there is a heads up for those who might find that as a turn off from the band.

In May of 2011 Baroness put up their official website and hinted that they were working on their next album. The album turned out to be a double album with the same label they've had since their debut release; Relapse Records. The album was produced by John Congleton once again, who has worked with a very wide variety of artists, and certainly seems to be tuned in with Baroness. Each of the discs have 9 tracks, and the first disc is approximately 40 minutes long and the second disc is approximately 35 minutes long, meaning the entire double album clocks in at around 75 minutes. Bassist and one of the founding members, Summer Welch, has also left the band but the reasons seem to remain a mystery at this point. Three singles have been released from the album, the first two on Baroness's official YouTube channel - "Take My Bones Away" released in mid May and "March to the Sea" released in early June. The third single, "Eula", was debuted on Sirius XM radio in mid June.

Trying to describe the sound of Baroness, in general, or this album, specifically, is very difficult but it is as if Silversun Pickups and Black Sabbath and Kyuss all got together to form a supergroup. There are a lot of readers who I know are very much into black metal, very heavy metal, etc., and you won't find that with Baroness - what you will find is a band that almost defies labels, except that they are clearly progressive. I would suggest that you check out a few tunes from the album on YouTube before you purchase the album, most notably I would suggest "March To The Sea" and "Collapse" to get an idea of what to expect, but personally I have no regrets and I will be purchasing their past releases in the very near future.

Lyrics — 9
John Baizley provides vocals in the band he helped form in 2003, as well as playing rhythm guitar. The lyrical content as well as the vocal delivery are really exactly right for the music. Something to keep in mind with Baroness is that they began as childhood friends, and initially were members of a punk/metal band together called Johnny Welfare and The Paychecks - basically, these guys have been playing together a long time and also, John Baizley has had a lot of time to work out lyrically and vocally exactly what their songs need. His vocal delivery really seems most like the vocal delivery in harder classic rock songs with just a touch of what you would expect from an alternative metal vocalist, which really works for their music. There is much less of the heavier vocals he has displayed on previous releases.

As a sample of the lyrics, here are the lyrics to "March To The Sea" from the "Yellow" part of the album: "There was an anchor, there was a silver-sweet refrain/ You tucked your fingers in between my troubled bones/ And what you did next was second to none/ You really let us down/ You tied yourself up and jumped in the sea never to come home/ You left me all alone/ Tell me when I will be whole again/ There was a whisper, Once there were heralds and parades/ You sang your secrets through the tolling of the day/ The fugitive room, the evergent tombs/ The the the silence and the cries/ The quickening beat, your march to the sea, never to return/ Sweep my feet, you've taken all of me/ Let me know, when you will let me go/ Heroin, where did you take my friend? / Tell me why those ropes are hanging high? / You left me alone". "March To The Sea" is a beautiful melancholy song.

Overall Impression — 9
Baroness will probably remain one of my biggest personal discoveries for 2012, and they definitely have a sound that is original and worthwhile. I don't regret purchasing their album, and will very soon own their other releases. As I said earlier in the review, I really don't know how to classify them besides comparisons I made earlier in the review. A lot of their earlier stuff sounds like more straightforward metal with a touch of sludge but this album definitely has much more in the way of a "progressive" and "alternative" sound in it than a lot of their earlier work. I personally love it all, as it all has its place.

My favorite song on the album would have to be "March To The Sea", but I have really enjoyed the whole double album in its entirety. It has a quality to it that I can't define, in some intangible way like some early '70s classic rock that was defining the genre at the time. I'm not saying that Baroness is defining a genre, but only that I get a similar feel from the album as I do from some of the iconic albums of the early 70's. Also, don't mistake me - the album is modern and sounds modern, but the songs are composed in a way and the tracks ordered in way that somehow makes this album feel both old and new. There are going to be some Baroness fans that are going to want to dislike this album because it IS different than their previous releases - it isn't as heavy, and it is much more exploratory than their previous releases - I beseech you to give it a listen or two to sink in before you make up your mind.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jimmy-moto
    Another great quality of Baroness is their vocal harmonies. I think the main reason this album could be called metal is because it's hard to fit it into any other genre. These guys are nothing short of geniuses.
    a drummer
    saint_berzerker wrote: Please don't mention "Silverspun Pickups" in the same article as these guys.
    That band is the shit. And the first thing i thought of after finishing "Yellow" was a heavier silversun pickups. Aside from that, this album is incredible
    Raven_Flight
    I think review dragged way too long at has some awkward moments; but anyway, excellent album. It should be clarified that it's not progressive as in instrumental wankery nor it's really that progressive at all, it's just that they were really clever with the songwriting though it is mainstream oriented.
    myap0calypse99
    This album is just what music needs! I mean just listen to it.. This gives me hope for the future of music
    Brandon1993
    Woo I finally got my copy yesterday. I emailed Relapse and they said the reason it didn't arrive yet was because there was something up with the shipping so they ended up mailing me another copy of it. I ended up playing through the entire cd i wanna say...6 or 7 times yesterday.
    Andragon
    I just don't know what to think. I hate the vocals on both sides. The solos are fantastic. I think Green > Yellow. Overall I don't like it nearly as much as the first 2. Maybe it's a grower but even that I don't see it. Meh.
    saint_berzerker
    Please don't mention "Silverspun Pickups" in the same article as these guys. I also recently had become aware of this band, and I couldn't believe it. I was listening to their first 2 albums, and yeah, I was "disappointed" hearing the first released track from Yellow and Green. I just found the first 2 albums musically fascinating...like when I first discovered Mastodon years ago. They had a Mastodon vibe. This new album isn't as interesting, but to be fair I haven't heard it all yet.
    r0derik1990
    I'm really dissapointed by this album. The "sell out" value is way to high on this one...
    Stinkfist528
    Brandon1993 wrote: i can't wait to get my copy i pre-ordered it through Relapse and hopefully i'll get it sooner rather than later. i got to hear the album in its entirety about a week or so before it was released because it was being streamed on i wanna say NPR i REALLY liked the album when i finally got to hear all of it because up until then i only heard Take My Bones Away, March To The Sea, Eula, and Little Things. and as you said in your review it isn't as heavy as their previous albums Red Album and Blue Record, but that doesn't make it a bad album. it lets you know they're experimenting with newer things. i mean yes i would have been a tad happier with it if it were a little heavier but nonetheless i still loved it.
    You should be getting it very soon. I'm in Jersey and mine is on the truck for delivery today. Unfortunately, they never sent me the e-mail to tell me that it had shipped in the first place, so I wrote to Relapse and they gave me my UPS tracking number. Anyhow, can't wait to get this today, I didn't listen to the full stream cause I actually wanted to be excited about it when it came, but I did spot-check some songs and it sounded great
    Brandon1993
    Stinkfist528 wrote on 07/18/2012 - 02:55 pm / quote | Brandon1993 wrote: i can't wait to get my copy i pre-ordered it through Relapse and hopefully i'll get it sooner rather than later. i got to hear the album in its entirety about a week or so before it was released because it was being streamed on i wanna say NPR i REALLY liked the album when i finally got to hear all of it because up until then i only heard Take My Bones Away, March To The Sea, Eula, and Little Things. and as you said in your review it isn't as heavy as their previous albums Red Album and Blue Record, but that doesn't make it a bad album. it lets you know they're experimenting with newer things. i mean yes i would have been a tad happier with it if it were a little heavier but nonetheless i still loved it. You should be getting it very soon. I'm in Jersey and mine is on the truck for delivery today. Unfortunately, they never sent me the e-mail to tell me that it had shipped in the first place, so I wrote to Relapse and they gave me my UPS tracking number. Anyhow, can't wait to get this today, I didn't listen to the full stream cause I actually wanted to be excited about it when it came, but I did spot-check some songs and it sounded great
    i was considering emailing them but it just came out here yesterday and it takes time for stuff to ship. im currently waiting on this and a copy of the reissue Dopesmoker by Sleep i ordered to get here as well. i listened to the full stream minus the songs i already knew so i knew what i was going to be getting when the cds arrived. i got the deluxe edition instead of the normal edition and i wanted to be sure i was getting my moneys worth
    Stinkfist528
    Brandon1993 wrote: i was considering emailing them but it just came out here yesterday and it takes time for stuff to ship. im currently waiting on this and a copy of the reissue Dopesmoker by Sleep i ordered to get here as well. i listened to the full stream minus the songs i already knew so i knew what i was going to be getting when the cds arrived. i got the deluxe edition instead of the normal edition and i wanted to be sure i was getting my moneys worth
    I just got mine now actually, with the shirt. Packaging on the Deluxe version is very nice, the hardcover book is very solid with nice artwork. I'd e-mail them to get your tracking number, at least then you'd be able to know how far away it is. It took them a day to answer me though, so you might already get it by then, haha
    HenriqueAlmeida
    At first I was wasnt too keen with their new sound but it kinda grew on me now and i am really digging the new sound...but I understand those who dont like it...I would take old Baroness over this in a heartbeat...But amazing record(s) nontheless....
    barden1069
    Love these guys. I listened to the stream so many times... need to buy this as soon as I get money...
    Brandon1993
    Stinkfist528 wrote: Brandon1993 wrote: i was considering emailing them but it just came out here yesterday and it takes time for stuff to ship. im currently waiting on this and a copy of the reissue Dopesmoker by Sleep i ordered to get here as well. i listened to the full stream minus the songs i already knew so i knew what i was going to be getting when the cds arrived. i got the deluxe edition instead of the normal edition and i wanted to be sure i was getting my moneys worth I just got mine now actually, with the shirt. Packaging on the Deluxe version is very nice, the hardcover book is very solid with nice artwork. I'd e-mail them to get your tracking number, at least then you'd be able to know how far away it is. It took them a day to answer me though, so you might already get it by then, haha
    i decide im going to hold off on emailing them because there maybe a chance its either almost here and i dont want to see impatient or something....
    Raven_Flight
    Mind_Reader7 wrote: They're punk, influenced by metal.
    It's very inaccurate to label them as punk, punk is just another influence for them as metal is (was). Sludge rock is the best tag for them, or just rock if you are not keen on subgenres.
    Mind_Reader7
    Some people have been bagging this album, but there's one thing you have to remember..... They're punk, influenced by metal.
    Brandon1993
    i can't wait to get my copy i pre-ordered it through Relapse and hopefully i'll get it sooner rather than later. i got to hear the album in its entirety about a week or so before it was released because it was being streamed on i wanna say NPR i REALLY liked the album when i finally got to hear all of it because up until then i only heard Take My Bones Away, March To The Sea, Eula, and Little Things. and as you said in your review it isn't as heavy as their previous albums Red Album and Blue Record, but that doesn't make it a bad album. it lets you know they're experimenting with newer things. i mean yes i would have been a tad happier with it if it were a little heavier but nonetheless i still loved it.
    EyesWideOpen
    I really love this album so far. Some fantastic tunes. Baroness are such a fresh and unique band.