Colleen Green – ‘Cool’ album review

Colleen Green Cool album Hardly Art September 2021 review
Following a quarter-life crisis during the writing and recording of 2015’s ‘I Want to Grow Up’, Colleen Green asks what it means to be grown-up on her new album ‘Cool’ – out now on Hardly Art. Produced by Gordon Raphael (The Strokes), the 10 songs retain her trademark lo-fi aesthetic while exploring broader themes and emotions.

‘Someone Else’s Albert Hammond Jr-esque guitar hooks kick off the album as Colleen reveals: ‘We are the lucky ones, we’re having so much fun’. This is swiftly followed by ‘I Wanna Be A Dog’ – we’re sure there’s a nod to The Stooges in that title – and Colleen sharing her desire to go to sleep and dream for a break from, well, everything: ‘Sometimes I think it’s too much’. As the song progresses, Colleen gets into a canine headspace: ‘I’m still barking at a closed door, I don’t really see the difference any more’.

‘Highway’ turns things down a little with a touch of menace, style and sleaze. It rather brilliantly sounds like the result of a collaboration between Soft Cell and PJ Harvey with Colleen telling a driver exactly how anxious their behaviour makes them: ‘I don’t like it when you take the highway. Pull over at the shoulder, let me out’. ‘Natural Chorus’ is more psychedelic with a hypnotic rhythm throughout the first minute and 40 seconds before higher vocals explain how ‘Nothing ever happened before us’. There’s then a refreshing blast of quirky effects and power pop guitar chords to finish in style.

The anthemic, guitar-driven title track is Colleen’s reminder to herself that you get what you give and how important it is to always strive towards being a better person – no matter how hard things can get: ‘All I wanted was to be kind, but I’m starting to lose my mind’; ‘It’s nice to be nice, it’s good to be good’. The penultimate ‘I Believe in Love’ is slower and more tender with talk of patching broken hearts together – ‘I promise to keep you safe’ – before the album wraps up with the swirling and jangly stoner jame of ‘Pressure to Cum’.

Knowingly self-depreciating and full of potent melodies and hooks, ‘Cool’ is an album that lives up to its title.

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