New Music Reviews

City and Colour’s Meant to Be: A Bluesy Country Ballad With Indie Rock Flair

Dallas Green, a.k.a. City and Colour, has come out with a very personal and introspective new record titled The Love Still Held Me Near. I think this is some of his best work in years and the more stripped back and bluesy nature of Meant to Be showcases his beautiful vocal. This is a song with a lot going on both musically and lyrically, so let’s get into it.

City and Colour is mostly known for either acoustic indie folk or more complex indie rock. He is in the classic Bright Eyes image of the indie rock singer songwriter who can move from different genres with that telltale indie edge. Meant to Be follows that script, but the genre City and Colour chose to explore is unique for his records. There is a definite Lucinda Williams slide guitar country rock vibe with a Merle Haggard If We Make it Through December bluesy dread and longing. Now, Green can’t stay away from indie rock for too long, so the drums and crunchy guitar kick in during the chorus and bridge to let you know that you are still listening to a City and Colour track. The bridge especially verges on a wall of sound vibe with everything at 11 before closing out with a few seconds of silence. Even though you get classic City and Colour in this track, I find those opening few minutes of country blues slide guitar the most interesting.

Lyrically, the song has a coming of age vibe mixed with regret and sorrow. He explores religion and his early belief in the Bible and religion, but that gets turned on its head. When he lost this friend close to him, he lost direction. Everything became uncertain and the certainty he used to find in religion was no longer there and he was seeing the world for the first time…afraid and alone. The most interesting lyric is how he can see mourners and hear the church bells, thinking that they believe “this is how it’s meant to be,” but he knows differently. His re-evaluation of life and religion is freeing in a way, but also terrifying as he becomes paralysed by the thought of what next.

This is an interesting coming of age song where Green depicts breaking free of dogmatic adherence to something and finding your own way. On the face of it, we think this would be a freeing experience, but Green sings of longing, sorrow, fear and a loss of direction. Meant to Be is complex both musically and lyrically with a number of themes and musical genres intertwining with each other. Instead of a messy track, these complexities give you something new to discover each listen.

Listen to Meant to Be

0 comments on “City and Colour’s Meant to Be: A Bluesy Country Ballad With Indie Rock Flair

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: