Pink and Dallas Green, also known as City and Colour, are as different as can be — one is a pop superstar with a punk sensibility and the other a soft spoken balladeer whose music matches his temperament. A few years ago, Dallas Green was in post-hardcore band Alexisonfire. City and Colour was Green’s low-key side project, and he has since chosen acoustic moodiness over screaming and mosh pits. Green and Pink make up You+Me, an unlikely duo that proves the two are an explosive combination on their debut album “rose ave.”
“Rose ave.,” a collaboration that was released on Oct. 14, is dominated by a nostalgic quality that is undeniably folksy. The album is the sonic equivalent of old photographs found in a shoebox.
One may think Pink would have trouble adjusting to the slower musical pace, but the versatile pop star flows as easily into slow acoustic songs as Green has in the past. One can already see her flexing her folk muscles on slower cuts, like “Sober” from her past album “Funhouse.” Here, her voice, set to a shushed guitar and harmonizing with Green, is on full display as the subdued powerhouse that it is. “Love Gone Wrong” in particular puts both Green and Pink’s vocals front and center, while at the same time showing how well the pair’s voices mesh together.
Green plays to his strengths, doling out soulful tunes on his guitar and harmonizing wonderfully with Pink, particularly in their glorious union on “Unbeliever.” The powerful dynamic between the pair is evident, as if they were an established group that has been playing together for years.
In true folk tradition, the songs are based on extremely personal subject matters, with both Green and Pink writing songs about their parents — “Open Door” and “Break the Cycle,” respectively. There are also plenty of love songs that pack the album to near exorbitant emotional highs. In “From a Closet in Norway (Oslo Blues),” the pair sings “’Cause these highs are so high, these lows are killing me,” a poignant sentiment that prevails in much of Pink’s solo work. When set to Green’s moody guitar, it is that much more devastating to hear.
The ability of both of these musicians to create quality work on both the softer and harder sides of the musical spectrum is a rarity, with most artists choosing to concentrate on one or the other. Creating an album replete with soft folk tunes, knowing the musical background of both of these artists, gives it that much more personality.
The fifth song on the album, which is “You and Me,” is the most electric moment of the album. A tender love song performed in unison, Green and Pink sing “You and me, we belong together.” The lyrics may refer to lovers, but they are definitely a musical match made in heaven.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Oct. 15 print edition. Email E.R. Pulgar at [email protected]