Sound — 7
As a long time listener, I for one have been exposed to the development of Dallas Green's musical range, which is something I must emphasize on, for one to understand this album. The former vocalist/guitarist of Alexisonfire has gone through many musical stages in the last 10 years, varying from "Sometimes," which was basically just him and his guitar to... Basically any Alexisonfire album, catching more of the hardcore sound that he has in him. But if we look at just the undeniable CaC development, we see how it has gone from City and Colour a.k.a. Dallas Green to it being City and Colour: The Band, on "The Hurry and the Harm." The sound of the album is undeniably a Dallas Green in his prime. Both the vocals and the instrumental parts are unique from anybody else, but still it's the familiar and homey sound we always get from Dallas. "Thirst" is a good example of how he uses the fact that he now has a full band to back him up. The song was release a good month or two, before the release of the album, and helped me understand the forementioned development, that Dallas himself is a proud speaker of. It's a completely new sound, with a lightly distorted electrical guitar running in the background, synergising with the drums and his voice. Just the distorted guitar and drums in itself are new elements in his music, but he has an extraordinary way of making it all sound like him. This is an ongoing theme throughout the album, giving it an extraordinary sound of a new Dallas. Soundwise, it's a hit or miss thing he's got going on. There may be listeners missing his early days of him and his guitar, singing about his problems, and then there might be listeners loving the fact that he has grown up, into a fullblown musician, reaching a whole new diversity. I for one am a fan of the ladder, since I am all for musical development. But the actual conflict makes me draw the end score a bit lower, since this is not the sound for everybody. But as Dallas has said before, he doesn't make music for his listeners, he makes music for himself.
Lyrics — 10
"I've always been dark / With light somewhere in the distance / I've got no destination / No place to call my own" from the eighth track "Two Coins" is the first thing that comes to mind, when considering the lyrics in my head. Once again Dallas has accomplished a lyrical masterpiece of an album, ringing through my soul. He once again accomplishes to make the music and the lyrical work be as compliant as one can be, with the themes generally being rather personal, but still genuine enough for one to be able to interpret it relevantly to your own life. I am not one to sit here and analyze his lyrics, as I think that is up for one to do by himself, but I will say that it is a absolute masterpiece, and you should take a listen to what he's actually saying. "There is darkness rolling through everything / Evil urges awaken me / The bitter souls who will never rest / Good luck ladies & gentlemen." "Ladies and Gentlemen" (#10) is another example of how he accomplishes a bond between the listener and himself, talking about more of the sadness and darkness that exists in the world, and a lot of metaphorical work on the daily problems. I will admit, it's all pretty sad. But Dallas just makes it easier to listen to, sad as it may seem. He can sing about how he's searching for his own Paradise, all on his own, and still make one happy just due to his musical talent. It might be the fact that you again relate to the things he's singing about, realizing you're not on your own, searching for said paradise, or it might be the fact that his voice is just genuinely soothing. All in all I have nothing to complain about, related to the singers ability to come out with the message, or the message in general.
Overall Impression — 9
All in all "The Hurry and the Harm" is a pretty great album. It fits Dallas' musical development, throughout his recording career. From "Sometimes" really raw sound, to "Bring Me Your Love" and "Little Hell" introducing more and more of the actual band that is City and Colour, it has now been fulfilled by this record, and really makes one wonder what may come next. (I'm guessing a new Alexisonfire album.) It may seem like a glorification, but there is close to little to complain about, listening to this album. It has gone far beyond my expectations, as soon as I broke the barriers of it actually being a "bandalbum" instead of another Dallas Green release. To quote Dallas, he once said "I would rather make people cry, than make them dance." Which I for one do not find that fitting for this album. With the faster songs like "Thirst," I would almost not let the fact that I am a white male stop me from dancing. All in all, I have little to no complaints about the album. I think we see how the musical development from Dallas and his guitar, to this full-on "bandalbum" has followed a timeline of Dallas growing up. It's the adult version of City and Colour, reaching out to way more listeners, as soon as you actually give it a listen.