The Colour | Between the Earth and Sky (Rethink)

cd_colour"Save Yourself," aside from being catchy as all hell, features some of the sweetest vocals this side of Jeff Buckley.








Is it too early for album-of-the-year consideration? Logically, my mind says yes; the year is but one-twelfth over, and there are many more releases to come. But this one, the debut by Los Angeles rock-soul hybrid the Colour, is for now the one to beat.

The album starts with "Can't You Hear It Call," a dashing dose of smooth guitars, funky beats, and frontman Wyatt Hull's rich, smooth vocals. Things turn a bit sexier with "Kill the Lights," which finds Hull sultrily offering, "You come on over/ we'll make it right / we'll lay you down and we'll kill the lights." Hull notches the seduction up at the end, proclaiming, "And you, you can tell me what to do/ you can tell me what to say."

The guitar lead-in to "Save Yourself" bleeds into the song as it winds down; two strums is all it takes to know you're in for a treat. This song, aside from being catchy as all hell, features some of the sweetest vocals this side of Jeff Buckley. As Hull stretches out the syllables and dives into falsetto, you'll find yourself willing to do whatever it takes to save him. The guitar hooks are patented, the bridge rollicking; this one's a keeper, indeed. "Devil's Got a Holda Me" is bluesy, rootsy, Hull yelping over funky riffs, echoing Led Zepplin as he croons, "Well, it's a lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely road." A group shout-along on the bridge only makes the song all the more participatory.

"Silver Meadows" is a stripped-down testament to Hull's vocal and lyrical ability. Above a simple piano line and lethargically tapped tambourine, he urges, "Let's numb the pain away/ well, it's ours." Strings and drums eventually factor in, but the song never loses its beautiful simplicity. Similarly, "Our Children Were the Stars" is one that begs multiple spins. A straightforward, blues-influenced bass drives this understated track; its charming refrain finds Hull intoning, "I was the sun, she was the moon/ I was the sun, she was the moon/ I was the sun/ and our children were the stars." The bridge to this one is purely sublime, Hull's voice bordering on the angelic.

Early rock 'n' roll influences bleed throughout the disc, especially on such songs as "Just a Taste," "Black Summer," "You're a Treasure," and "Salt the Earth." Yet the classic sound is made current by the band's underlying themes of spirituality and redemption and its fearlessness in blending styles. The musicianship throughout this disc is solid and precise, and Hull's vocals—not to mention lyrical insights—only deepen with repeated listens. The bar has been set, 2007 artists. Who's going to measure up? A | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Cold War Kids

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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