Photo credit: Annayelli Lizette
AuxCordFM is proud to present the second installment in our ‘Best of 2018’ albums countdown. The ten albums selected by Editor James Shotwell will be announced and celebrated through a series of essays. Click here to review the full list and follow us on Twitter for additional updates.
Anthony Green is a force of nature. Unlike many of his peers, whose creative juices have slowed over the years, Green seems incapable of such change. Between his work with Circa Survive and Saosin alone, he’s produced more than half a dozen albums, but that is merely the tip of the iceberg that is his creative output. Green also works with The Sound Of Animals Fighting, the mysterious masked rock group he helped bring to life in the mid-2000s, and he contributes guest vocals to numerous projects every year. How he manages to save anything for himself is a feat none of us can really wrap our heads around, but earlier this year he proved he still has more to say with the surprise release of his fifth solo album, Would You Still Be In Love.
Backed by minimal accompaniment, Green uses Would You Still Be In Love to share his most personal and direct songwriting with listeners. The album plays as a makeshift concert for one, with Green pouring out his every thought on love, sex, death, and fatherhood through his signature high tenor voice. That formula for music making is similar to his previous solo releases, which have primarily relied on acoustic guitars and personal songwriting, but there is a distinct bit of melancholy present throughout this album that denotes the mindset a man realizing his quickly approaching middle age. On “Vera Lynn,” for example, he sings “nothing really matters when everything goes in the end.” That’s about as rebellious as one can get and yet, somehow, Green makes it appealing to the masses.
There was a time when Anthony Green used music to reach those he loved because his struggles with drug addiction had otherwise fractured their relationships. Now clean for more than half a decade, Green still uses his music to reach those closest to him, though the reasons for doing so have evolved. His numerous commitments in the world of music, not to mention the audience hoping to see him in person, is continuously pulling Green away from home. He’s always been on to give fans as much of himself as possible, but as his four sons continue to age and his wife, Meredith, waits for him back home in Pennsylvania, you can sense the struggle to find balance growing more pronounced. “Love,” which doubles as a letter to his children, summarizes this struggle beautifully. “Once we watched a lazy world go by,” sings Green, “now those days seem to fly.”
But balance isn’t the only thing Green seems to seek on Would You Still Be In Love. Many songs, including “Vera Lynn” and later cuts such as “Little Death,” obsess over the moments in life when emotions are at their peak. Whether it’s the sensation of meeting someone or leaving them for the last time, which Green believes to be the same emotion or the feelings that course through one’s being at the height of passion, there is an apparent desire to celebrate the way such instances make us feel alive. Green gives us the impression that he would choose to live in those experiences forever if he could, but time has taught him everything will eventually fade, especially those moments that matter most. Still, he rises each morning with the hope of finding that sensory and emotional peak with those he loves the most. That includes the listener, yes, but more importantly, he yearns to cherish and be fully present whenever he has a moment at home.