Citizen – As You Please

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Citizen

As You Please - Run For Cover Records

Southern Michigan / Northwest Ohio post-punk act Citizen saw their biggest transformation with the release of their debut full length, Youth.  The band veered towards the Brand New camp with elegance and poise, channeling their best Jesse Lacey impression into something they could comfortably call their own.  The band followed with Everybody Is Going To Heaven, which explored both a heavier, more ominous sound and amidst a clear tweaking of alignment towards Manchester Orchestra.  Now on their third album, As You Please, Citizen makes yet another modest realignment as part of their album-to-album evolution.

This time around, Citizen takes a slight step in the direction of the alt/indie camp, while pivoting towards an emo influenced periphery.  Opener “Jet” kicks off with what serves as a catchy mid-tempo single, bolstered by crunchy but distinct guitars and lulls of subdued vocals to match the artistic choral highs.  The track, which lands somewhere functionally between Able Baker Fox and Prawn, serves as a forceful introduction to the highs and lows embedded within As You Please.  Follow-up “In The Middle Of It All” introduces a complement of Arcade Fire-drawn falsetto vocals, strategically landing with a poet’s tact.  This track embodies a level of elegance that clearly contrasts with the heavier post-punk influences inherent in tracks like “Medicine,” which ooze with raw emotional aptitude.  

Similar stylistic disparities arise between the edgy structure and delivery of tracks like “Fever Days” and the soft, City & Colour-like ambience underlying those like “Discrete Routines.”  Citizen strives to strike balance amidst such sonic diversity, which is reflected in the clear ebb and flow of As You Please’s tracklisting.  The only downfall is that while there is plenty of stylistic variance across the album, tracks emulating similar styles tend to come across collectively familiar in execution.

Overall, Citizen continues to move in a productive direction as As You Please confirms the band’s commitment to stylistic growth with each passing release. As You Please strikes a wise balance between an extrovert offensive and introvert reflection.  Fans of post-punk will enjoy the swelling build up, while the alternative and indie faithful will embrace the structured approach underlying most songs.