The phrase “opposites attract” carries little weight when it comes to music. In most cases, differences in style within collaborations can lead to ruin (think Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s “Accidental Racist”), but this is not the case with rose ave., the first album from You+Me, a recently formed folk duo comprised of singer-songwriter Dallas Green and American pop sensation, P!nk. Leaving behind her ego and image, P!nk presents herself with a noticeably different character and tone—a sound most newcomers would not even recognize. Coupled with friend and veteran folk singer Dallas Green, the two launch off on a journey exploring each other’s capabilities and styles.
Coming off of his success with the Canadian post-hardcore group, Alexisonfire, Green has had several years to define his style. Using the alias City and Colour, Green has released several exceptional folk albums, and he has collaborated with the biggest names in Canadian music. It’s Green’s expertise in the genre that serves as a base for the tone that the two have created together. Although each song on the album develops uniquely, a listener can recognize an overarching feel to the record that almost takes away from the novelty of the project. Almost. What rose ave. lacks in variety it makes up for with passion and complex, heart-felt lyricism.
rose ave. opens with “Capsized,” a melody exploring the troubled pasts of these two performers and how those pasts have affected them as artists. P!nk’s voice has a passionate ring to it, blending well with a style of rhythmic beat and acoustic strum that will only grow more familiar as the album progresses. Their chant, “We were two ships in the night / Hell bent on trying to survive / And capsized” immediately etches itself into the listener’s mind. The cosmic backdrop—also present in the majority of the album—heightens the suspense of the track, infusing You+Me’s distinct sound with a sense of mystery.
The duo’s passion and vocal ability is teased out furthered in “From a Closet in Norway,” the next track on the album. This song is all about nostalgia: yearning for has been and appreciation of what is now gone. The two voices complement and play off of each other quite wonderfully. Echoing each other’s lyrics, the duo conveys a sense of conviction, painting vivid images with their words, and setting it to a bleak musical backdrop. P!nk’s echoing phrases at the end of the track especially showcase the range of her voice.
“Love Gone Wrong” and the titular “You and Me” are also notable tracks included on the album. “Love Gone Wrong” best shows Green’s vocal capabilities and range—he’s given the entirety of the first verse, and when the voices do trade off, this song serves as a showcase for what these two can achieve together. The lyrics speak plainly and push back on some of the usual cliches used in songs dealing with separation.
“You and Me” is arguably the most chart-ready track off the album, and its tone makes it distinct from the rest of the bunch. The song’s lyrics get at themes of connections and fate, with strong vocals to match the rich content. P!nk’s line, “And some days / Are better than others” can—in all its power—send chills rolling down your spine, and yet, she maintains a sense of grace throughout the track.
You+Me sets the bar extremely high with its first album. Whether this is that first coming together of two artists with a grand future as partners, or just a one-time, shot-in-the-dark project is yet to be seen, but the chemistry between P!nk and Green is undebatable. Although rose ave. might have benefited from a more dynamic mix of songs, what we are given sure does the trick. P!nk separates herself from a well-defined persona for this project, recognizing new potential for her voice. Her versatility as a vocalist fits phenomenally with Green’s experience in the folk genre, making for a lovely match of talent that will hopefully continue to develop in the future.
Featured Image Courtesy of RCA