TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2014 – #17: you+me – rose ave….

You+ME - Rose Ave 600

This fall, P!nk released a new album sort of under the radar. This project is rose ave. For this album, P!nk formed a duo called you+me with Dallas Green, a Canadian singer-songwriter also known under the moniker City and the Colour. She met Dallas through her husband, and planned a collaboration track that turned into an album very quickly. However, P!nk is quick to point out that this is not a P!nk album. All of the promotional appearances, and the album liner notes list her as Alecia Moore. This is actually a more accurate way to look at the album. The songs are all duets, with Alecia and Dallas’s leads rising at different points of the songs.

The album is all acoustic-based. The variations in the songs are in the speeds and the melodies. The songs have an overall arch holding them together. “Capsize” starts the album out, almost like a theme song, talking about “we were two ships in the night”. “From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues)” is the kind of song that usually graces a P!nk album towards the end to give it a quiet moment. Except Dallas wrote it, depressed while in a closet in Norway. I’ll save saying that each song is slow or strummed in some way.. they all are, but in varying degrees. If you took the one or two acoustic songs on each P!nk album, made them duets, then made an album out of them, it’s a lot like that. That’s a great thing. “Love Gone Wrong” has a pace almost like an old outlaw song. “You and Me” is just pure classic. The fact there’s very sparse instruments and a quiet slide guitar gives a lot of space to the echo on the vocals, making this a haunting ballad. Even though the lyrics are about seeing the positive, the music hints at troubled waters.

The second half is much like the first, and that’s not a bad thing. “Unbeliever” is a folky, gorgeous duet seemingly about hope. “Second Guess” gets even quieter. The two trade off lines perfectly on this one. “Break The Cycle” is one of the highlights, with waves of strings woven in with the duo’s gorgeous vocals. “Open Door” is a a quiet folk song about home being “a place I always leave behind”. It has slide guitar also, which makes it *almost* but not quite country. It never veers so far into that territory to make me not like it. But then rounding out the album is a cover of Sade’s classic ballad “No Ordinary Love”. This works extremely well as an acoustic duet. At only just over half an hour, the album is short but sweet. A great way to wind down and reflect, especially on a dreary cold day.

Even though it is meant to be seen as a duo, I still see this as P!nk’s next step. It’s nice to see her explore her serious and solemn side more here. Make no mistake, I love her snarky, witty pop side. She does that better than so many others. But this shows off her vocal and lyrical strengths. I will also have to check out more of Dallas Green’s work. Especially knowing a lot of the lyrics came from him. I can already tell this album is going to stick with me for a while. I have those “go-to” albums that I grab when the cold weather gets me in a melancholy mood. This one hits the spot, and is among this year’s best recordings. Well done!

Pick up your own copy of Rose Ave HERE:
CD | MP3 | VINYL

Check out these videos:

“Break The Cycle”:

“You and Me”:

“Love Gone Wrong” (Live):

“No Ordinary Love” (Live):

“Capsized”:

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