On her new Self-titled album, Colleen Green chases a completely different sound with mixed results. Last year’s album, I Want to Grow Up, included a bunch of angry, punk influenced pop songs that addressed anxiety over the ideas of love and growing and criticized the nature of television how 20-something do-nothings live out their lives. On Colleen Green, the punk side of Green is replaced with a brighter, alternative sound aesthetic. Unfortunately, the lovably-fake drum sounds from I Want to Grow Up did not seem to fit into the more sunburst songwriting strategies as well as the angry punk soundscape of Green’s past.
The songwriting is still there, Green still questions the position of love in her life with backing vocals and guitar solos accompanying her sarcastic vocal delivery. In particular the song “Green My Eyes” showcases Green at her most infectious. The mix includes many layers with Green’s pleasant vocal melody serving as the centerpiece. Also, the chorus bounces around perfectly sticking in the listener’s mind. Green also delivers lyrically on this song, asserting that nothing she says matters and that if her potential significant other simply tells her that her eyes are green she will fall head over heels for him. Green makes a poignant point about men’s expectations in relation to relationships.
Green sarcastically dubs her style as Ramones-Core, a fitting description of her almost too simple to be true four-chord songs. Whats odd about this album in relation to Green’s interpretation of Ramones songs is how closely she follows in the band’s footsteps. The first two songs seem to embody the exact same chords as a pair of Ramones classics. “U Coulda Been an A” starkly resembles the Ramones song “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and “Cold Shoulder” seems to borrow the world-famous “Blitzkrieg Bop” lick. Side by side the songs are not exactly the same obviously, however, I believe Green could have valued individuality a bit higher on this album.
Upon first listen I was a bit let down by Colleen Green. Some songs were still quite good, but I can’t help but feeling that she could have benefited from the use of a live band. The drums felt a bit empty in this particular shade of rock and the songs may have been better executed with a bass guitar part.