One City One Love - Color School
Thematically, ‘One City One Love’ is exactly what it says on the tin. Color School have managed to dig deep with their lyrics to draw focus on recent social changes in the US, balancing melodic vocal hooks against more intense rap in a similar vain to the Black Eyed Peas' earlier work. Where the two acts differ is in their arrangement.
Whilst the lyrics remain the focal point of each song on the EP, the arrangement allows the percussion and guitar tracks to really stretch out and have fun driving home both the funky and mellow progressions they use. Despite five decades separating the youngest and oldest members of the band, they each have more than enough experience to keep each part melodically interesting yet still fun to play. ‘Static Line’ perfectly illustrates how the guitar mix can be brought forward to the point of supporting rather than masking the tone of Renell and Artemis’ voices, a mistake that bands of this genre are in the habit of making.
It’s this ability to rein in each song when needed, whilst not leaving the central message of the EP understated, that really gives ‘One City One Love’ an edge - in that it’s not meant to have too much of an edge. The album is a stark message about unity and the (sometimes severed) connections between people that has been soaked in a comforting harmony to discuss a sombre topic with sense of positivity.
Article by Harvey Allinson