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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Yellow and Green
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 16 July 2012
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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on 27 March 2013
The key factor that an album needs in order to remain important and/or influential in the future of music is originality, and as far technicality in rock/metal goes these days, the hardest thing for any musician or band to do remains the development of an original, unique 'voice'. Baroness have never been a band to sound like other bands, but one could always group them in with a certain scene of post-Mastodon sludgy, psychedelic metal (not to knock any of these bands). What Baroness have done here however, is develop a unique album that defies current categorisation. Fusing influences of prog, contemporary metal, folk, indie, phycadelia and possibly even some post-hardcore, I am of the firm opinion that Baroness have created a game changer. If the band takes off where this has left off, I reckon Baroness will develop into one of those bands with which legions of lesser bands will attempt to rip off.

The manner in which this art is presented is unique also, for although it is sold as a 'double album', Yellow and Green are albums of their own entirely. This is not a double album that is meant to be listened to all at once, it is two albums that can be listened seperately and works of art in their own right. The whole thing flows brilliantly, but one can still listen to this thing one side at a time. All of this said, it can still be listened to as a proggressive odeyssey of sound, with some truly atmospheric moments on it.

While unqiueness is not enough to make an album brilliant (Biffy Clyro are 'unique' but they aren't 'good') the songwriting on here is also phenomenal. Choruses come catchy, lyrics come deep and esoteric, the way the guitars and vocals both convey such arrays of emotion so vividly and emphaticly. Moreover, although the 'formula' and structures of these songs are more simplistic and for the most part much shorter, this album is by no means an album of verse - chorus straightforwardness.

There are still instrumental tracks that dabble in solos and acoustic imbelishments, there are still jam breaks in songs that dip and dive with colour, the essence of 'Baroness' remains the same, but it is being represeanted in a different format. I have seen criticism of this album stating that the short songs are an attempt to get into the mainstream, or that the more melodic direction is Baroness 'going soft'. These are all statements that confound me, mostly because what they are doing with this album is not trend driven at all, on the contrary they are doing something totally original, and throwing a complete curve ball. The fact of the matter is, alot of metal is becoming 'trendy' nowadays, and to create such an elaborate, folk influenced, proggy affair in a double album format, would be a MORONIC attempt at grabbing mainstream publicity, and something Baroness are almost dfefinately above...

Awesome artwork that is definately worth owning on a big Vinyl sleeve also, with some great Baizley artwork on the inside
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on 18 July 2012
As a lot of people have noted this is a departure from the heavier stuff on their earlier releases. Personally this doesn't bother me - I heard some tracks before buying it - 'Take my bones away', 'March to the sea' and 'Eula' and liked these all. When I listened through the album initially not much of it really stood out to me. I think this is because it's a bit more chilled out than their other stuff. Having listened through a couple of times it definitely grows on you, and there are some really good tracks.

Personally, I found this a bit less interesting than their earlier stuff because to me it sounds a bit less energetic (although it's nice to have the option of chilling out to baroness), the production is a lot cleaner and less sludgy, and the arrangements are a bit more predictable. All in all it's still a pretty good album (I'd probably give it 3.5 stars if I could), but for me was a bit disappointing compared to their other stuff.
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on 17 July 2012
The apple has fallen really quite far from the tree if you were to sit and compare Red or Blue with Yellow and Green, but in no-way should that be taken as a bad thing. Baroness are progressively moving forward, carving their own niche and fundamentally writing their own rule book. Aspirational, yes, a bit of a shock for their established fan base? probably. Essentially, do not expect to hear Red, and do not expect to hear Blue, but do expect to hear elements of both, intertwined with ever more complex songwriting and musicianship. Gripping, addictive, exciting and even refreshing, Yellow and Green is a truly accomplished effort and offers as much of a rewarding listen as both the bands previous records, perhaps even more as they explore genres and sounds that are not necessarily previously fitting of their "remit". Most definitely worth purchasing - a defining moment in fantastic young bands career. 110% out of 10.
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on 26 September 2013
Released a few weeks before (or was it after?) a horrific bus crash near Bristol which nearly ended the bands career, this album rates as one of my collection favourites ... and I have a ridiculously big rock collection. Blue was a progression from Red, Yellow and Green an even bigger progression. It is a beautiful collection of compositions, it rocks, it's mellow, its dreamy in places, it nearly drives me to tears I love it so much. Steve Wilsons 'Raven that refuses to Sing' does actually make me cry. Getting soft in my old age. See you in Glasgow on 20th October 2013 - last year i thought I would never get the chance to see Baroness again.
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on 6 November 2012
This is my first Baroness album, and though I've tried "Blue" and "Red" since I got it, this remains my favourite. I tend to listen to heavier stuff, but Yellow and Green is the mellowest album produced by the band, so that should say something about the quality of this record.
I can't really find any faults with Yellow and Green, except that it could have been put on a single CD. I don't get it, why the double? I love to listen to both albums in a row. "Yellow" is slightly stronger, with Take my Bones and EULA being the two high lights. Board up the House is my favourite song on "Green".
What I like is the original sound and songs, the variation and strong melodies, that feel fresh and well thought-out. Plus the album f-ing rocks!
So I just thought I'd put in my thoughts since some reviewers considered this album was too soft compared to the bands earlier stuff.
Well, I am a happy new fan.
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on 19 July 2012
It's still early days with Yellow & Green but, after an initial "meh" reaction, it's really starting to grow on me.
As with Blue Record, this album is much better listened to as a whole than as individual tracks. Baroness are emphasising the subtler and more mellow side of their music here, but the quality of the writing and musicianship are as excellent as ever. This might not please one-dimensional fans who just want to hear Red Album churned out over and over again, but it definitely rewards the listener who has has wider musical tastes.
Baroness seem to be following a similar, but quicker, trajectory as Mastodon did towards Crack The Skye. Let's just hope they don't proceed to an album of forgettable, radio-friendly unit shifters as Mastodon did with The Hunter.
In conclusion, this is a very fine album that will continue to grow with repeated listening.
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on 16 July 2012
Writing a review for Baroness' Yellow & Green was for me initially, a very daunting task indeed. This album is colossal in terms of musicianship, structure and lyrical content. Yellow & Green is also a HUGE departure from the two previous releases from this Georgia based Sludge metal band. Firstly, Yellow & Green once again presents us with the beautiful artwork by front man John Baizley, which right away tells us that this is going to be a very beautifully crafted album indeed.

If you're not familiar with Baroness, they formed in 2003 and have to date released 3 albums, all based around a colour. Their first outing was the incredible sludgy Red Album which was released in 2007, followed swiftly by the Blue Record in 2009. Each of these albums are heavy, very heavy. The riffs are thick and John's vocals are insane. Finally, we're presented with their third album Yellow & Green, a double album with all signs of insane sludge evaporated from the bands musical prowess.

It seems that on this album, everything regarding the 4 piece band has matured. The song writing is much more progressive and intricate than anything offered on both the Red Album and the Blue Record. Again, I heavily state that the sludge element has practically gone and Yellow & Green is more beautiful than one could possibly imagine.

John's vocals have improved ten-fold and his improved song writing skills complement this brilliantly. With both albums topping the 70 minute mark in total, I think this could be filed under a progressive release... a VERY progressive release. Each track demonstrates beauty in different forms and a lot of the songs almost seem to wash over the hearing and leave the listener basking in a warm summers glow. The production on this album is also impressive, which after hearing some of 2012's releases is becoming something of a rarity. So hats off to that!

As demonstrated on their first two releases, Baroness are great musicians. The guitars, the drumming... oh, everything about these guys is great and once again Yellow & Green doesn't disappoint. Allen Blickle's drumming is almost caveman like, think early Black Sabbath's Bill Ward caveman drumming. Thundering, pounding beats that one just can't help but nod their head to. I found myself almost rocking back and forth as I listened. Peter Adams and John Baizley's guitar work on this album is also worth noting. At times sweet and serene, and at other very rare occasions heavy and thick. All this, teamed up with John's soaring vocals create just an astounding piece of work that deserves every good thing said and then some.

Stand out tracks for me are 'Take My Bones Away', 'March To the Sea' and 'Cocainium'-each off of the first disc of the album 'Yellow', and 'Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)', 'Collapse' and 'Psalms Alive' which are taken from the second disc 'Green'.

I'm in love with Yellow & Green, and if you can look past the bands sudden musical change, I'm sure you'll begin your very own love tale with it. Have fun.

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on 10 May 2015
Every track is incredible. Great Riffs, great melodies, nice harmonies. A good blend of styles and ideas ranging from softer droney and melodic, to powerful songs that just make you want to get up and do things with your life.

Really good, but less stand-out than Yellow.

Standout tracks: cocanium, Take my bones away and March to the Sea.
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on 16 July 2012
First of all, if you're one of those people who wants every track to sound like "Isak", this isn't the album for you. It's not that Baroness have abandoned that style; they've simply broadened, and the energy & musicianship has in no way suffered from it. But I can already see some die-hards seeing this as the album Baroness "jumped the shark" or "went soft" or something. The truth is that this is still distinctly "Baroness".
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