If there’s one person who deserves recognition for his work this year, it’s Anthony Green. With two babies now in tow and a fresh recovery from his mental health issues, the Circa Survive singer managed to record, produce, and release two extraordinary albums both under Circa Survive and as a solo artist. Although Circa Survive’s album Violent Waves is a phenomenal release, Green’s solo album Beautiful Things was one of the best and most impeccable albums of 2012. The mid-January release was not only the kick off to a fantastic year for Green but it gave the singer the opportunity to make some remarkable changes in his music both sonically and lyrically for the first time.
In the past Green has been one of the many artists to hide emotions with subtle metaphors, but with his second studio album fans really got to know him not only as a musician but also as a person. It’s no secret that Green has been through a lot of s—t over the last couple of years and the fact that he was able to persevere through all of it and become the incredible person he is today is undoubtedly something to sing about. As a fan, it was really great to hear him become more open about both his past, his present, and his family, and personal topics that in hindsight can be tough to express, whether you’re a musician or not. Even if you’re a first-time listener, songs like “Can’t Have it All at Once,” “How it Goes,” and “Do it Right” are relatable for anyone with struggles and/or are searching for some type of understanding or support.
Aside from the meaning behind the words, each track sonically was a new and successful experiment for both the singer and his followers. Green’s first album, Avalon, was mostly acoustic and he kept that vibe this time around with the addition of minimal production. Avalon was, for the most part, Green and his guitar, but Beautiful Things was that mixed in with a multitude of different elements. With the addition of Green’s voice, which provided an overwhelming presence to the already powerful melodies, the album was a lot stronger and a step up from the work he did on Avalon.
Although Green wrote and produced all of the tracks on Beautiful Things, the record would not have been so different from its predecessor without all of its many contributors. Good Old War, Colin Frangicetto, Dave Davison, fun.’s Nate Ruess, Deftones’ Chino Moreno, and Ida Maria are some of the many notable guests who did a great job of adding their own flavor to some of the tracks. These tracks were the most memorable (especially “Only Love” featuring Ruess and “Right Outside’’ featuring Moreno) and made the album more of a collaboration than just a solo work.
This year’s Beautiful Things stands out as a more meaningful record of Green’s career. Green and his friends did such a thorough job writing, producing and recording the record. For the first three months of the year, I listened to this album non-stop and I know anyone who’s never heard this album yet will do the same. It is often the case that January releases are forgotten in “best of” articles, but this record cannot run that same track. It’s not only a great album musically but a great representation of Anthony Green both as a musician and as a person.