REVIEW: Citizen – ‘Everybody Is Going To Heaven’

Citizen Everybody Is Going To Heaven

Artist: Citizen
Album: Everybody Is Going To Heaven
Label: Run For Cover Records
Genre: Indie Rock

Citizen return with their sophomore LP, a beast of an album, titled Everybody Is Going To Heaven. Produced by, you guessed it, Will Yip, Everybody Is Going To Heaven showcases the band at their finest, if not at times a little contrived.

Something that was certainly played about during the album’s hype cycle was the drastic change in tone for the quintet. With the release of “Cement,” fans immediately noted the heavier, darker, more brooding tone. If Youth was Batman & Robin, Everybody Is Going To Heaven is your Dark Knight.

I’ll be honest, that was a pretty terrible analogy, but the band do their best to make it immediately felt that they are not the same as before. Melodies are buried underneath dissonance swaying in and out of the foreground, with lead riffs stabbing into the foray, adding just that tiny bit of broken glass to the equation.

“Dive Into My Sun” is the perfect culmination of what the band tries to accomplish on their sophomore effort. Melding beauty and madness together, the brooding tones clash with the beautiful harmonies, creating a painting filled with angst, regret, humanization, and enthusiasm. Followed by “Numb Yourself,” which may be the most Youth-esq track on the record, Everybody Is Going To Heaven starts with force.

“Heaviside” enters at just the right time. A calming, beauty of a track, “Heaviside” is not only a great standalone piece, but is placed perfectly in context of the entire album, for the following “My Favorite Color” brings the madness back to the equation.

Something that reverberates strongly with the album is the containment of the explosive moments. Each track finds itself rooted with a thick bass line, and thundering percussion, and the conservatism of the guitars only make each heavy hitting moment that much more exhilarating.

“Weave Me (Into Yr Sin)” may have come too soon, though it is still just as good as its predecessors. Followed by the frantic “Stain,” the band only solidifies their ability to meld chaos with catchy, infectious choruses. Vocals scream between guitars, only to find peace when the chorus hits.

Now comes “Ten,” and my only real gripe with the album. Simply put, the chorus is un-listenable. There is a tremendously annoying static throughout the entire chorus that does absolutely nothing for the sake of the song. Listening on headphones becomes pure pain, and I have to skip that track every time, and it kills me. The saddest part is that the verses of the track are really interesting, and evolve with the tone Citizen has created over the entire album, it’s just that damn static that makes me question why that was ever thought to be a good idea. Yeah, there is a lot of distortion flooded throughout the album, and in tracks like “Cement” and “Stain” it works really well. It works well, because it was contained, and used sparingly, something “Ten” knows nothing of. Unfortunately “Ten” is a track I always pass by when diving into Everybody Is Going To Heaven.

Closing with “Yellow Love” and “Ring Of Chain”–possibly the album’s best pairing–Everybody Is Going To Heaven is a beast of an album that is sure to either resonate strongly with fans, or piss them off entirely. I have seen and heard much dispute over the band’s sound, and even people on their Facebook calling out the band for their change in sound as if they have any say in the matter. What I find most beautiful about Everybody Is Going To Heaven, is that it is one of the few albums out there in this scene that feels genuinely made for the betterment of the musicians who crafted it. Avoiding the gaze of the pedals, Citizen did, and dove deep into what it meant for them to move forward. There is so much saturation out there today, that it is entirely refreshing to have assumptions shattered as masterfully as they do by Everybody Is Going To Heaven.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by Drew Caruso — Follow him on Twitter.

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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  • K. Bennett

    I am a huge fan of their last album. I am also a fan of bands changing up their sound from album to album… example… Brand New. Speaking of Brand New… this album sounds like they decided to make Daisy. Seriously. I have to give it another shot, but the first time I went to listen to it all me and my friend could do was be amazed at how much it reminded us of Daisy.