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Album Review: As You Please by Citizen

Citizen release their third album As You Please on 6th October via Run For Cover Records. We’ve had a bit of love / hate relationship with Citizen, we were pretty damning in our assessment of their debut Youth yet ended up falling in love with their follow up Everybody Is Going To Heaven. This album puts Citizen on a different level, it showcases the growing versatility of a band seven years deep and still restless. Citizen have churned and ground out their own unique foothold within the greater context of alternative rock.  Written over the course of a year, the record is devoid of the brutish and sinister elements found on Everybody Is Going To Heaven. Here, Citizen go beyond their early grunge contrasts and strive for something bigger and more relatable.

Most notable is how Citizen have progressed. This is an all-encompassing album, bringing the band into a mainstream alt rock sound and moving away from the emo revival / indie punk sound of its predecessors. It’s an album that gets in your face from the opener ‘Jet’ right through to the formidable yet delicate ‘Flowerchild’.

While the lyrical content of the album may be darker, it’s the actual musical content of As You Please that really impresses. You can’t dismiss it completely though, it lends the record a relatable air to everyone that’s thought the world is a little bit shit. The fine-spun ways in which Citizen has written this record mark a cataclysmic breakthrough for the band. There is damage and disarray in the band member’s lives, but within this record, all the pieces have been restored and polished into an album worthy of praise.

This should be the album that pushes Citizen into the rock mainstream. There’s not a weak track, all twelve are of the highest order with plenty of opportunity for big singles. The first two tracks from the album, ‘Jet’ and ‘In The Middle Of It All’ have already been release with considerable success. They pave the way for the remaining ten tracks, treading a similar path you can get on board with this album from the first listen – quickly and surely becoming one of your favourites of the year.

‘Medicine’ and ‘Ugly Luck’ are excellent tracks, but the real gem comes in the delicate alt rock of ‘World’. Big emotive vocal work from Kerekes and soaring dreamlike guitar work is the order of the day, superb. Both ‘Control’ and ‘You Are A Star’ have the potential to be successful singles – with the latter being especially strong and reminiscent of Brand New and their strongest and most adventurous.

A different album to Everybody Is Going To Heaven but one that has more longevity and is ultimately a lot stronger.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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