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Album Review
 
Citizen - Youth Album Cover

Citizen - Youth

Reviewed by
8.5
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Citizen - Youth
Record Label: Run for Cover Records
Release Date: June 11, 2013

With their debut full length, Michigan natives Citizen weed out most of the pop punk energy found on previous EPs, favoring instead a more somber, 90s influenced sound; a stylistic shift not unlike the one made by their contemporaries in Title Fight.

The album's two singles, "Roam the Room" and "The Summer," are probably the most similar to their old material, being the two catchiest and probably most accessible. "I don't wanna know/ I don't wanna know/ if I could just catch you once/ I'd see you right through," shouts vocalist Mat Kerekes on the latter song. By contrast, songs like "Figure You Out" and "How Does it Feel?" would be completely out of place on Young States. "Figure You Out" is a quiet song featuring an intro that brings to mind Mellon Collie-era Smashing Pumpkins, while "How Does it Feel?" is an easy album highlight, sounding like the cousin of Balance and Composure's "Stonehands." The song's bass solo break gives a chance to show of Kerekes' soft voice, something heard less on the band's earliest material.

"Speaking With a Ghost" is a standout, probably being the best song on the album. It begins with an overdriven guitar riff and steady snare hits from Cray Wilson to lead into a chorus of overlapping vocals. The two tracks that follow are also very good, making up the album's best three-song string. "Your Head Got Misplaced" is a more upbeat song with a distinctive guitar lead from Nick Hamm and Ryland Oehers over the lyrics, "Somewhere safe you found/ so I locked you in/ and I burned it down," and what I believe is a reference to an older song. "Sick and Impatient" begins sounding a little bit like a hardcore song, although the song is one of the softer ones, featuring rough vocals only in its chorus. (And, as expected, Will Yip's production is fantastic again.)

The biggest flaw I found with the album is not with the quality of the actual songs. Rather, this album is exceptionally similar to Balance and Composure's 2011 debut Separation, in the vibe, the general sound, and even the lyricism. Songs like "Sleep" and the aforementioned "How Does it Feel?" could easily have been b-sides to that record. While I would by no means say Citizen are aping Balance and Composure, it definitely sounds like they listened to a lot of Separation while making this album. But hey, at least Youth still sounds good. They're not particularly breaking new ground, but then again they're not claiming to either.

I wouldn't say Youth is an earth-shattering record. I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece. But I wouldn't say that it's simply a fun record without substance. It's an impressive album and a well-written debut. It looks like Run For Cover's the label to beat this year.

"I'm quick to push/ quick to shove/ and the first to point the finger."

Recommended If You LikeBalance and Composure's Separation
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 36
10:18 AM on 06/25/13
#2
Vance Mook
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Definitely one of the best albums put out this year.
12:11 PM on 06/25/13
#3
meanmedianmoge
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I keep hearing from friends and people on tumblr that this album reminds them of Devil and God by Brand New and I can't see it. Mat Kerekes (vocalist) is well known as an avid Brand New fan so I can see why the resemblance is there but as good as this album is, don't go around comparing it to Devil and God

still super psyched to see these guys at warped in a few weeks
01:12 PM on 06/25/13
#4
Zac Djamoos
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I keep hearing from friends and people on tumblr that this album reminds them of Devil and God by Brand New and I can't see it. Mat Kerekes (vocalist) is well known as an avid Brand New fan so I can see why the resemblance is there but as good as this album is, don't go around comparing it to Devil and God

still super psyched to see these guys at warped in a few weeks
Yeah, I don't get that much either. Perhaps the vibes from the album, but definitely not a similar SOUND.
01:32 PM on 06/25/13
#5
drewinseries
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This album is much more similar to Daisy than it is Devil and God, but the singer definitely takes ques from all of Lacey's material.
08:28 AM on 06/26/13
#6
meanmedianmoge
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This album is much more similar to Daisy than it is Devil and God, but the singer definitely takes ques from all of Lacey's material.
Somewhat Daisy sounding, but that album was so sporadic and more complex that Youth is. Both are really great albums but nothing can compare to the feels you get from listening to a Brand New album the first time
04:17 PM on 06/28/13
#7
Big_Guy
Idle Will Kill
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this grew on me a lot and there are a few Brand New moments.

Sounds like a BN influenced Title Fight
06:32 AM on 07/01/13
#8
Ryan Gardner
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One of my favorite records of the year.
07:05 AM on 07/01/13
#9
InaGreendase
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Sounds like a BN influenced Title Fight
Basically. Similarities with the latter are a bit much at times, but definitely a good/great album. Best thing they've done so far.
08:13 AM on 07/01/13
jordalsh
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couldn't get into it... all ran together for me.
10:06 AM on 07/01/13
Jason Tate
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Djamoos round two!!
10:44 AM on 07/01/13
johnnyferris
Inside of your heart always
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I need to spend more time with this album; I loved what I've heard from it so far.
11:00 AM on 07/01/13
henry chinaski
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Album rules!
11:03 AM on 07/01/13
Zac Djamoos
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Woo! Big shoes to fill.
11:37 AM on 07/01/13
lostINtheSOUND7
I know a ghost.
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Is anyone going to address the fact that he actually quotes Brand New and Dashboard Confessional? I can't be the only one that notices that...

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