BARONESS — Yellow & Green

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BARONESS - Yellow & Green cover
3.82 | 22 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Heavy Psych
By BARONESS

Tracklist


Disc 1:

1. Yellow Theme (01:44)
2. Take My Bones Away (04:59)
3. March to the Sea (03:11)
4. Little Things (05:03)
5. Twinkler (03:16)
6. Cocainium (05:08)
7. Back Where I Belong (06:15)
8. Sea Lungs (03:21)
9. Eula (06:47)

Total Time 39:44


Disc 2:

1. Green Theme (04:22)
2. Board Up the House (04:33)
3. Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor) (04:17)
4. Foolsong (02:57)
5. Collapse (03:51)
6. Psalms Alive (04:08)
7. Stretchmarker (03:23)
8. The Line Between (05:02)
9. If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry (02:42)

Total Time 35:15

Line-up/Musicians


- Allen Blickle / drums, percussion, keyboards
- Peter Adams / guitars, vocals
- John Baizley / vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards

About this release

2CD / 2LP released 17th July 2012 on Relapse Records (RR7190).

Deluxe edition released in a hardbound book.

Recorded at Water Music Studio in Hoboken, New Jersey & Elmwood Studio in Dallas.
Mastered at West West Side Music.

Thanks to UMUR for the addition and Bosh66, TheHeavyMetalCat, adg211288 for the updates

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BARONESS YELLOW & GREEN reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

UMUR
"Yellow & Green" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US sludge rock/metal act Baroness. The album was released through Relapse Records in July 2012. Baroness are quite the adventurous act and over the course of their first two albums "Red Album (2007)" and "Blue Record (2009)", they have gone from being a sophisticated sludge act to incorporating stoner, rock´n´roll and 70s hard rock elements to their sound. Not completely unlike the development that a contemporary act like Mastodon also have been through.

This time around Baroness have focused even more on accessibility (even occasionally touching maintream appeal) than ever before. Most tracks are vers/chorus structured with only few excursions beyond that formula and the choruses are catchy and for the most part leave a lasting impression. The raw shouting vocals, which were already sparse on "Blue Record (2009)" are now completely gone from the band´s music. Instead the vocals are clean with an occasional rough edge, but often layered with distorting effects.

"Yellow & Green" is a double album. The first disc is titled "Yellow" and the second disc is titled "Green". So there are about 75 minutes of music to digest. Personally I find "Yellow" slightly more interesting than "Green". There are simply more tracks on "Yellow" that stand out. Highlights are tracks like "Take My Bones Away" and "Cocainium" but the quality of the tracks are more or less consistent throughout. Few real highs and few real lows.

While I can see the drawing of what Baroness want to achive with "Yellow & Green" I don´t think the mission is fully accomplished. It´s like they lack the last conviction in the delivery and the songwriting could be better and more defined too. The fact that lead vocalist/guitarist John Baizley isn´t in possession of the most interesting voice is a minor issue too. When that is said "Yellow & Green" is still a well produced, well played and for the most part well written album and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
arcane-beautiful
Baroness are a band that I haven't really heard of, and this is my first experience with the band.

I'm not a massive fan of stoner rock/sludge and if I'm being honest, I like Mastodon, and that's about it. Now and then I like some songs by some stoner bands...depending on what mood I'm in, but I won't lie, it's not 100% my thing.

But...this album was receiving a lot of positive criticism and a lot of people where talking about and comparing it to the last Mastodon album...so I was a little intrigued. So having listened to the first single, and liking it, I thought...meh, might as well buy it. So I did..

Now overall...I did like a good bit of this album. I think the album is a little bit over hyped, and maybe the band in general, but maybe it's because it's not my thing. But because it's not my thing...and I actually rather enjoyed it...does show that the band have achieved something good...so if this is your thing you probably would love it.

The only problem with the album that probably would have made this album better for me would have been to make it more compact, get rid of some of the filler and just make one single album, instead of a 2 disc double album (even though you can easily fit all these songs on to a CD).

I do like the double album format, especially when deciding on which disc of the album I favour more. Now I think everyone will agree that the first disc is the best side of the album, and if it was just a single album, it might have been one of the albums of the year. But the second disc does really just sound like leftovers. I won't lie, there are some good moments, but it does sound like a collection of B sides...and it's why I think a single album with some songs left off would have made a better album.

Now this does sound a bit negative, but overall, even the filler isn't the worst. Grated there are about 2 songs that I find are completely useless, but the rest is still pretty great.

Musically the band have adapted a style which is better suited for songwriting, and has been toned down a bit from there previous material, making the album a lot more compact and listenable. The vocals I'm not the biggest fan of, but they are ok. I do love the use of vocal harmonies throughout the album.

YELLOW

1. Yellow Theme – A great intro to the album. Perks the atmosphere right up. 8/10

2. Take My Bones Away – The perfect single for the album. A very catchy song. At times it very reminds me of Thrice at times. 10/10

3. March To The Sea – A song about drug. Woopee. An interesting song with a pretty cool chorus. Great lyrics too. 9/10

4. Little Things – When I first heard this song, I was thinking to myself, “ha, this sounds like Jimmy Eat World”...which isn't a bad thing because I do like Jimmy Eat World a good bit. But there is a twist...due to the sludginess of the song and the jam like style of the end, making it pretty unique. 8/10

5. Twinkler – A bit of an interlude with some nice vocal arrangements. Nice accompaniment too. 8/10

6. Cocainium – One of the more moodier songs on the album. Great build up at the start and a pretty cool groove in the chorus, Overall, it's a pretty moody groovy song. 9/10

7. Back Where I Belong – This song definitely has some of the best guitar playing on the album. Nice arrangement and chorus too. 8/10

8. Sea Lungs – One of the more heavier songs on this side of the album. Some cool riffs. 8/10

9. Eula – The best song on the album in my opinion. A very powerful song and not a boring moment on it. And the guitar solo on this song is pretty impressive. 10/10

GREEN

1. Green Theme – This has to be one of the best intros I have ever heard to open up an album.

2. Board Up The House – If this where the single of this side of the album, it would have gone done well enough. I do feel that the song would have been better if it did have a better chorus. The chorus is alright, but the verses have a lot of build up and don't really go anywhere. 9/10

3. Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor) – A nice soft arrangement and some nice lyrics too. 8/10

4. Foolsong – The best song on this side of the album. I probably would have preferred this to have been on the first half of the album. A very beautiful and melancholic song that focuses very much on using minor keys. 10/10

5. Collapse – I won't lie. All I can hear in this song is a very hipster sounding arty farty attempt at songwriting with bland instrumentation and nonsensical lyrics. 5/10

6. Palms Alive – The same as Collapse really with a slightly more interesting side due to the electronic sounding drum beat and a good enough ending to the song. 6/10

7. Stretchmaker – A nice instrumental acoustic interlude. 7/10

8. The Line Between – The riff at the start of this song is really kick ass. The song does kind of morph into a more standard song, but it's still a pretty great song though. 8/10

9. If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry – A nice little ending to the album. 7/10

CONCLUSION: It's not 100% my cup of tea. But I did rather like it a lot. There are some great songs on it, and overall it's a pretty decent album. The band aren't a band I would usually go for, but I might give there other stuff a listen, because this was rather good.

7.6/10
Warthur
"New musical direction" is perhaps the scariest combination of three words to fans of any band, but for my part Baroness' three year metamorphosis after the competent sludgefest Blue Record is a convincing and worthwhile experiment, though as time goes by it feels increasingly like it's suffering from the old disease of double albums - namely, that there's enough really compelling ideas here for a super-intense single album spread out thinly over two discs.

Sonically, it's strange amalgam of stoner metal and the heaviest end of psychedelia, with a few spacier moments - I detected at points passages reminiscent of an odd mashup of Meddle-era and Animals-era Pink Floyd, and elsewhere a few moments a lot like Popul Vuh - though the album is saved from becoming a nostalgia-fest by taking on musical influences from much more recent subgenres. On the Yellow disc in particular much of this ends up being a particular aesthetic achieved by the tuning, engineering and production - when you strip aside the surface aesthetic there's some pretty standard but fun hard rock songs underpinning all this.

There's a few crescendos here and there which are highly reminiscent of metalcore, some musical passages where I honestly couldn't tell whether I was listening to a guitar riff or an electronic pulse, and overall the album offers a dizzying combination of musical genres. When it works, it works pretty well - at other times, it feels like they're throwing lots of ideas at the wall and seeing which ones stick.
Kingcrimsonprog
Yellow & Green is the third full-length studio album by the Savannah based Progressive/Sludge Metal band Baroness, it was released in the summer of 2012, produced by John Congleton and is a double disc album.

Like the band’s previous albums (and indeed some other Savanah based bands, including Black Tusk and Kylesa) the artwork was created by singer John Dyer Baizley. Furthermore, like the band’s previous two albums Red Album and Blue Record, the discs are each given a colour theme.

Both discs open with a musical intro-theme, one for each of the two colours. For example, the first track on disc one is ‘Yellow Theme’ which is a brief instrumental piece using some of the notes and rhythms from later on the disc.

Then, it bursts in with the ridiculously catchy single ‘Take My Bones Away,’ which features brilliant melodic guitar lines and a memorable chorus, some keys and a brilliantly dynamic form where things build up, cut out, speed up, slow down and come in and out of effects loops. It may be shocking if you are caught off guard, but it’s a phenomenal track that’s every bit as memorable as ‘Teeth Of A Cogwheel’ ‘Wanderlust’ or ‘A Horse Called Golgotha,’ if not more so.

Everything about the album is just a little bit bigger and better than the previous two albums. The production job is fantastic, the songwriting is a little bit more distinctive, John Baizley’s vocals have improved immensely and of course there is a full seventy-five minutes worth of music to enjoy this time around.

You’d imagine that trying to absorb something so dense as a seventy-five minute album may be difficult, as with some other 70-80 minute albums, but the decision to both split the albums in two and also to lead with the more energetic stuff and let the second half hang back a bit more really works in keeping the listener’s attention and gives you a logical pause point if you need one.

Stylistically, the band have actually gotten pretty far away from Sludge at this stage, and in parts far away from Metal in general. Its way less heavy than their earlier stuff, so approach this album with caution if you only want that one type of sound from Baroness.

Stylistically, there is a clear prog influence in as much as there are a lot of brilliant clean or acoustic sections, atmospheric background noises and touches of both synth and piano, as well as a few sections that center around multi-tracked vocals or chopped up passages (specifically ‘Psalms Alive’).

There are a lot of sounds and tones that the band have explored on previous albums and EPs used too, but there are certainly a lot of surprises and things you wouldn’t expect. Over the course of the whole two discs there are a diverse range of musical styles, and yet although the album as a whole is their least heavy outing to date, it still sounds unmistakably like Baroness, since they’ve always had at least one foot in this musical direction.

The great thing about the album is that while the album is more interesting as a result of the grander scope and prog influences, it is never obnoxiously difficult or overlong and a lot of effort has gone into still keeping the songs concise and easily digestible. Nor is it a rehash of anything that anyone else made, or any one set of genre tropes in particular, it is simply exciting and new music made by creative and talented individuals.

Highlights include the hypnotic ‘Back Where I Belong,’ which almost evokes the spirits of both modern-Radiohead and Gentle Giant without actually sounding like them, as well as the tracks ‘Sea Lungs’ which has an almost ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ by Muse-esque sound in parts, the somber ‘Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)’ and finally ‘The Line Between’ which along with the ‘Green Theme’ recalls something of Thin Lizzy in the guitar department. Understand however, this record doesn’t sound like a collage of other band’s work or anything, those musical references are only subtle hints put through the filter of the existing Baroness sound.

Ever since the band offered this album up for streaming I wasn’t able to stop listening to it and pre-ordered it pretty much instantly. It’s an exciting sort of record that you can just listen to again and again, and have a new favourite track every time, as well as hearing bits of your old favourite track that you didn’t pick up on the last time around.

I already liked the band’s previous work a lot but this album is an improvement on that again; it may bare little resemblance to them at their Sludgiest, but it is simply such a great album that this shouldn’t be a problem to all but the strictest fans. In fact, if they only put out Yellow, it would still be an amazing album and the fact that Green is as good as it is really makes this a stand out release. Just listen to the beautiful ‘Strechmaker’ if you need convincing that Baroness made the right decision.

In summary; this is a superb album that has an awful lot to offer and one that is more instant than their previous work, but which also grows with repeat listens. If you are new to the band, I’d actually recommend that you try this album out first and work your way backwards, unless of course you only like heaviness and can’t stomach anything clean, spacey or atmospheric. If you are already an existing fan and don’t mind a little change in musical direction, I’d highly, highly recommend this album, its not something you want to miss out on.

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