Citizen

Life In Your Glass World

Written by: PP on 09/05/2021 12:25:36

No strangers to musical evolution throughout their career, Citizen opt for yet another stylistic shift on their fourth album "Life In Your Glass World". Their previous album "As You Please" explored Thrice-esque ambient soundscapes in stark contrast to the first two records that sourced from Balance And Composure / Title Fight-style brooding post-hardcore and alternative rock hybrid sound, but now even that has been largely scrapped in favour of a danceable, indie-flavored, electronics-infused version of Citizen. Nope, the fans wouldn't have seen this one coming.

The opening two tracks of the record, "Death Dance Approximately" and "I Want To Kill You" are a strong one-two punch for advertising their new direction. They're both catchy, but better categorized as funky and electronic rather than brooding and emotive. I'm getting vibes of The Strokes' experimental material blended with other indie rock bands like Two Door Cinema Club and Bloc Party ("Silent Alarm"-era), albeit drenched in gloomy ambiance. Later, particularly "Thin Air" is a tribute to The Strokes material.

In practice, it means distorted guitars and any heavier passages are all but forgotten at this point. In their place, an upbeat, rhythmic sound that's heavily backed by samples and easygoing indie rock ideals, translating to a radio-friendly, mainstream ready soundscape. It's basically early 2000s all over again with influence sourced from Arctic Monkeys, The Klaxons, and other British indie rock staples that infused electronics and beats into their sound early on.

"Pedestal" is perhaps the only track where the band revisits their past to some extent, with rawer (though still effect-laden) vocals and a louder instrumental presence brought about by a Balance And Composure style prolonged guitar ambiance. In its direct contrast, the minimalistic "Fight Beat" is arguably the weakest track on the record, nothing-saying electronic experimentation that feels like filler.

The rest of the album lies somewhere in the middle of these two. "Black And Red" with its alternative/indie rock base, dressed in rhythmic electronic beats and samples are effectively the album in a nutshell. It's upbeat, catchy, funky, but incredibly different from previous Citizen material.

So what to make of it then? Well, it's absolutely their softest album yet. The mainstream influence and simplistic indie rock will draw in a legion of new fans, and the songs aren't that bad to be honest, even if you are coming in from their older albums. But they also aren't necessarily noteworthy. They're easily accessible and absorbable, but lack to form an emotive connection with the listener. Will we be remembering this record a couple of years down the line? To be honest, I doubt it. Decent, but that's about it.

7

Download: Death Dance Approximately, I Want To Kill You, Pedestal, Black And Red
For the fans of: Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, The Klaxons
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.03.2021
Run For Cover Records

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