BARONESS – Yellow & Green
Within the gossipy world of metal and rock nerds, something close to panic happened this spring. Baroness had released three tracks from their upcoming double-album The Yellow and Green. The tracks were Take My Bones Away, March To The Sea and Eula. The first track on that list made a lot of Baroness fans to foam at the mouth. Are they Nickleback clones? In interviews the album was described as Baroness, but stripped down. Once again they’ve used John Congleton, who also produced The Blue Record.
The double-album is, as you might have guessed called The Yellow and Green and each side has a theme, which kicks off the entire debacle. The Yellow side has a few good songs, but to strip down their sound is in many respects to take away what they are known for and what makes them exciting and cool. Where the guitars play off each other and they create a wall of sound and you’ve recognized it from songs like Isak, Jake Leg and A Horse Called Golgotha. The new album has songs in a sort of new vein and although I think it might piss off some older fans, I also see the possibility of new ones and also the appreciation from the pop-jungend. The album opener is Take My Bones Away, and though I don’t think they’re Nickleback clones, it’s a obvious album opener. It’s catchy and it’s got hooks and a solid sing a long chorus. March To The Sea however has my solid approval. Its slow build-up and then KA-ZANG! The song goes into this really cool and heavy guitar riff laddend atmosphere and the beat goes haywire. Other personal favorites on the yellow side are Cocainum and the side closer Eula.
The Green side has fewer highlights than Yellow and although you got some solid rock numbers in The Line In Between and Psalms Alive, which also has some funk elements to it, I have to admit that it gets a little bit boring. The soft numbers are many and they sound to much alike and I crave some more diversity. Although I like Baroness a lot more when they are heavy, they are not too out of place in their softer stripped down version; this is something that the song Foolsong proves. The songs that I have listed here, doesn’t hide the fact that I think that the Yellow side of the double-album is a lot stronger and I the question I pose is: Was it really necessary to release a double-album?
The Yellow and Green double-album isn’t a totally bad album, but I think a lot of the older fans will get disappointed. This album goes further in the direction you already saw on The Blue Records, which also has a good number of pop-elements. The Yellow and Green doesn’t have the wall of sound approach that so many love, and to take that away is in many ways to take away the hallmark that makes Baroness sound so great. The other thing is that the first side is a lot stronger than the latter and that it just gets a little bit boring. Since this album is designed to get some more float in the live-set, we will just have to wait and see and maybe there will be some more mix to the audience at the next Baroness show you see, who knows, maybe you get a pop-girl or boy to suck on.