Anthony Green

Avalon

Written by: TL on 15/09/2008 23:27:26

Like most proper scenesters, I had a period of my life where, if I was given the opportunity to become any living person, I'd become Anthony Green, and if given the power to correct one mistake of the past, I'd put him back in Saosin. As such, a solo-sideproject from him should really just be a sunrise of eternal happiness to me and every other Green-fan, and hence I set upon acquiring and reviewing the famous singers first album on his own, dubbed "Avalon", after the location in which it was recorded.

What "Avalon" is, is actually more of an Anthony Green compilation than an actual album. You get eleven new tracks, the two of which are re-recordings of "Babygirl" and "The First Day Of Work At The Microscope Store" off the hard-to-come-by "High And Driving EP". In case you missed that recording (which is likely), it is however thrown in for good measure, after a brief interlude at the end of "Devils Song (This Feels Like A Nightmare)". To top things off and round the amount of tracks off at twenty, five of the new songs are also present in their demo-form in the end of the cd.

Speaking of the new songs, Anthony drapes himself in a style that's going to feel more familiar to Bright Eyes-fans, than to disciples of his famous bands Saosin and Circa Survive, and I might as well spill, that if you're one of the latter, you'll be facing that as an obstacle to get around before you can appreciate the songs on "Avalon". Me being an appreciator of Bright Eyes and similarly folkish indie-names, that's not what's bugging me though, and so I'm left with no excuse for realising, that what seemed like an impossibility in my fanboy-mind is in fact reality. The songs Green has put together on "Avalon" simply aren't as good as what we're used to hearing from him.

While the opening duo "She Loves Me So" and "Dear Child (I've Been Dying To Reach You) have choruses that'll reoccur in your mind after few listens, the remaining new tracks float by largely anonymously, and by the time the "High And Driving EP" tracks come about, it's painstakingly obvious that the re-recordings of them have actually hurt them rather than improved them. The thing that's always been fascinating about Anthony's singing has been the impressive dynamics and reach of his extended notes, which seem mostly absent in "Avalon"'s more mellow soundscape. Effectively, I'd actually say that the inclusion of the High And Driving tracks is the strongest selling point of the album, hearing how the extreme minimalism and roughness of what sounds like a bedroom recording, only makes Anthony's voice sound so much more honest and impressive.

When it comes to the demo tracks in the end of the album, I guess the same argument could be applied, but honestly, firstly it still doesn't change that the newer songs aren't particularly interesting, and secondly, you're unlikely to keep the album spinning long enough to ever get around to them. In the end "Avalon" is probably still a must have for any fan of Anthony Green, but even so, it still offers little more than a small handful of songs you'll ever pick out and put on. If you're just looking for emo-ish singer/songwriting, you're better off sticking with Conor Oberst or City And Colour.

Download: She Loves Me So, Dear Child (I've Been Dying To Reach You), Plays Ugly For Daddy
For The Fans Of: Saosin, Circa Survive,
Listen: myspace.com/anthonygreen

Release Date 05.08.2008
Photo Finish Records

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