Rapid Fire Reviews: Citizen, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile

Posted: by The Editor

Citizen as you please

CitizenAs You Please

On their third full-length, Citizen combines some elements from 2013’s Youth with prominent aspects off of 2015’s Everybody Is Going To Heaven to give us their most accessible album to date. Perhaps relying more heavily on a melodically driven sound, the band create a more refined and polished record, with many of the tracks balancing each other out in terms of style, pace and overall emotion. Driving guitars in tracks such as “Jet” and “As You Please” dominate most of the album, complementing lead vocalist Mat Kerekes’ sense of urgency, giving us that unique Citizen resonance.

A lot of what this record echoes can be related or compared to Brand New. Every song sounds big, huge in cases such as “In The Middle Of It All” and “Fever Days.” The record presents itself as a step in a new direction for the band. It’s not a complete overhaul from what Citizen fans have grown to appreciate, but a healthy dose of maturity and growth.


lotta sea lice

Courtney Barnett and Kurt VileLotta Sea Lice 

The collaborative record between Australia’s Courtney Barnett and Philly’s Kurt Vile is one of the best guitar albums of the year. Vile’s soothing playing style is complemented amazingly by Barnett’s hard, more in your face approach. Even with their similarities in check, it’s their differences that really create a give and take that’s as comforting as it is charming. Tracks such as “Continental Breakfast” and “Over Everything” best exemplify the prominent features of this album.

Balance. That’s what this record has. Each songwriter wrote/sang on about half the album, mostly interchangeably, such as Barnett singing Vile’s lyrics and vice versa. Barnett’s tracks have more of a zip and kick, while Vile provides his signature Sunday afternoon nod. If you’re familiar with either or both artists, you’ll know exactly what to expect. If you’re like me, and are more familiar with one moreso than the other, these tracks will quickly feel familiar, as both artists bring out the best in each other.


Steven Lalonde | @StevenLalonde