Much anticipated by thousands of fans around the world, the new Baroness album is released as a double one, making it from the very beginning the most daring effort of the band from Savannah, Georgia so far. The success of the previous masterpiece ‘’Blue Record’’ brought high responsibility to the company of guitarist/vocalist/painter (and bassist in this album) John Baizley and he made sure he would deliver something special as always, from the days of ‘’First’’ and ‘’Second’’ EP’s, when Baroness tried to find their sound, to the continuation with ‘’Red Album’’ and the establishment with ‘’Blue Record’’ as mentioned above. Practically we must divide this review in two, though it is a combo release, for much better understanding by the fans. A release hitting 75 minutes of music could be something like commercial suicide for a band, unless you do things like Baroness do, and the first thing you have in mind, is that you don’t have room for proof but only to express yourself through your music.
The first disc, the ‘’Yellow’’ one starts very promising, after the short ‘’Yellow Theme’’ intro, ‘’Take My Bones Away’’ shows what a mature and carefully structured song sounds like. A great beginning for the album, followed by ‘’March To The Sea’’ with the great chorus and rhythms, one of the best duos that open an album the last years. The band sounds more mature than ever, the sound has soften enough but not to make them sound dull or boring, in addition it’s a logical continuation to ‘’Blue Record’’, especially in the most psychedelic and mellow parts, just like on the haunting ‘’Twinkler’’ for example. ‘’Cocainium’’ and ‘’Back Where I Belong’’ is the other amazing duo that boosts the album up rapidly, making it sound the least equal to ‘’Blue Record’’. The vocals are a great improvement and the production is so warm and clean sounding that it feels like the power trio plays next to you and it feels like you can also see them and not only listen to them.
The closing with ‘’Eula’’ marks the ending of a great album which could easily be released on its own and still make the same positive impression to all the fans. In less than 40 minutes, the nine tracks of ‘’Yellow’’ travelled you to many colourfull places where you saw images just like those on the amazing cover done by Baizley (if you see the cover for both the albums you’ll find the cover of the year easily). The second disc is the ‘’Green’’ one, starting mellow with ‘’Green Theme’’ like its twin record ‘’Yellow’’. Things are pretty simplified on ‘’Green’’, as it is a more mellow release compared to ‘’Yellow’’. No outbursts or speedy parts exist on the 35 minutes it lasts, ‘’Board Up The House’’ tells you to hide your boys and girls but it ain’t that threatening. The tracks of ‘’Green’’ fill the ones of ‘’Yellow’’ and I strongly advise everyone to listen both albums each time, for the result is really remarkable and special.
Of course, ‘’Green’’ is not that great as ‘’Yellow’’ but that is of little importance, because ‘’Yellow & Green’’ must be faced as something which is tied, one cannot exist without the other and it would be naive to get into comparisons because you will lose the whole point. Baroness play without opponent on the term of experimenting themselves to find a very suitable sound for them and I believe that they did much better on this release than their friends Kylesa on their last album ‘’Spiral Shadow’’ for example. Baroness is a band whose softening suits them fine, for there were moments in their past betraying that this day would come when they would simply follow other soundscapes, smooth and expressive in the same way. The connection to their previous material is successful and unless you waited for a ‘’Blue Record pt.2’’, you will be strongly satisfied from the variety of the material.
Baroness dared and they didn’t lose. I think that at first, they will gain much more fans with this new sound approach, then the new material will fit perfectly with the older tracks, as soon as they mix the setlist a bit and not just play new tracks. Listen to ‘’If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry’’ which closes the ‘’Green’’ album and close your eyes, thinking how simple and majestic music can be. In some of the tracks of the two albums, Baroness choose to express without words, but it seems like they say more than you’d like to hear, so you’re filled inside you and you have found a good way of relaxing yourself with both albums. They both flow quickly and full of quality, not because they are not long in duration, but mainly because they are something different, put simply into notes and with the feeling that they come straight from the heart. A new challenge for Baroness is on, let’s see what they will do on their next release. Until then, this one is their most special one, for some it might also prove to be their best.