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Review: "As You Please" by Citizen

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Oct 10th 2017 11:00 am
Photo courtesy of Citizen's official Instagram
Photo courtesy of Citizen's official Instagram

Citizen has returned after 2015’s snoozer “Everybody is Going to Heaven” with one of its best works yet in “As You Please”. The band brought long-time friend and producer Will Yip back into the mix to refine and tweak what the band has been working on for years: a distinct indie rock sound with a tinge of grunge and dirty tones that will leave listeners’ heads spinning. 

The album starts with the lead single from the record in “Jet”, a fine-tuned ripper of a song that shows what Citizen has been up to. The band’s guitar tones are the same that Yip has used on the last two Citizen records, and “Jet” seems to be the most normal song on the album. After “Jet”, the band jumps into its next track, “In the Middle of it All”, one of the slower songs the band has produced in recent years. The song starts with a chorus of frontman Mat Kerekes’ vocals, layered and harmonized in perfect unison. Kerekes sings somberly before the song grows into a catchy bridge that he relentlessly sings. 

“I wasn’t ready for this,” Kerekes sings. “Been strung out looking for a signal that was never there.” 

“As You Please” explores some new ground for Citizen, with “Discrete Routine” being almost entirely piano based. The song jams almost like a piano-heavy Death Cab for Cutie song, with Kerekes’ vocals soaring softly and somberly over creative drum patterns and dense piano chords. On “Ugly Luck”, the music finds itself more bare than typical Citizen songs, with the guitars seeming to strip Kerekes’ fears away as he howls over quiet drums. Even more so, Citizen uses organs to convey a certain solemn feeling on “Medicine”, after the thick, reverb tinged bassline opening. 

Citizen has surely grown up between albums, finding the perfect balance between dreamy, slow guitar parts and fast, vicious vocals from Kerekes. The band’s first album, “Youth”, treaded more along the lines of post-hardcore, where it fully turned away from its 2013 debut and set its eyes on a grungier, darker version of the pop punk it had previously perfected. The only thing Citizen could possibly do to become better would be separate itself from Will Yip, who has had a hand in every Citizen release to date. Though as it stands, Yip hasn’t yet done wrong by the band and Citizen continues to churn out banging content. 

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