We’ve all come to expect great things from Mr. Anthony Green, the man is a musical idea machine. After last year’s wildly interesting sophomore release Beautiful Things, he immediately kept the music churning. Young Legs is the alter ego in some respects to Beautiful Things, because where the latter was more adventurous and odd, the former is far more grounded but continues to solidify Green’s songwriting ability.
Young Legs’ biggest advantage as a record is in Green’s prowess for theatricality. Many of the songs have those larger than life elements that wouldn’t feel out of place in a broadway rendition with Green leading a whole ensemble of singers and musicians under his wing. Once you’ve approached the record, the idea isn’t really all that far-fetched. “Breaker”, which kicks things off, is a fine example. Led primarily by piano and his shimmery, effect-laced harmonies, it’s darker in nature – even going as far as to draw Circa Survive comparisons. A lot of this record is led by great, rich piano, which is a great touch and naturally where I saw him going musically. Green flexes his musical muscles on many of the record’s distinctive tracks – the short but melancholic acoustic diddy “Too Little, Too Late” or the heart-tugging “I’ll Miss You”, which is one of the record’s best songs. There’s something for everyone on this record.
Green is an artist of variety, and he has arguably never made the same record twice. One avenue he explored a lot of was the inclusion of multiple guest vocalists/musicians on Beautiful Things, which is something you won’t find here – not because it didn’t work, but because he is a more progressive musician and it’s not always needed. None of the songs on this record suffer from a lack of, but really only one staggers at all, and it’s “Anytime”. The songs comes off way too goofy and almost childish in nature, though still catchy; I had trouble getting into it. Regardless, so many of the songs swoon with an enormous uplifting attitude, like the gorgeous “100 Steps” or the equally accessible “Shine”, with the former building on layer upon layer of dazzling vocals. Where Beautiful Things was hit-or-miss, Young Legs hits home with cohesiveness and consistency.
Those who have read this far, you’re probably thinking (“he knows that Good Old War are his backing band, right?”). The backing instrumentation is with no exaggeration, spot on. The trio has always held Green up with a formidable backbone of impeccable ideas and execution. Will Yip led production on this record and to no one’s surprise, it is superb as well. The instrumentation sits right in place, and drum enthusiasts always love the organic drum tones that exist on everything Green/Circa does, because they’re done right. Another positive is the large amounts of layering – which adds to the replay value – because when listening intently, there’s always something to pick up on that you may have missed before.
Overall, this is a beautiful record that works with all of Green’s strengths and really doesn’t work against him nearly all of the way throughout; and it will sit well with fans and continue to get better over time, which is something all great records do.