Citizen Way “2.0” Album Review

Citizen Way

Prime Cuts: When I'm With You, I Will, Bulletproof

Albums like Citizen Way's 2.0 need to come with warning signs.  The tunes on this record are so catchy that over repeated listening, this album could be highly addictive. Unless you are prepared to allow these songs to linger in your long term memory and incite you to hum along with them when you are in the shower, then give this album a spin. 2.0, in short, is an album that is made to defy the test of time.  It is tunes like these that will give Citizen Way longevity and credibility in the contemporary Christian music industry over the long haul. Yet, 2.0 as indicative by its titular, is just the sophomore record of Citizen Way. Formerly known as The Least of These, Citizen Way comprises of Ben Blascoe, David Blascoe, Ben Calhoun and Josh Calhoun. Their 2013 debut album Love is the Evidence gave the team 3 Top 20 Christian singles. Almost 3 years later, Citizen Way looks like they are bound to repeat the same successful fleat.

If you ever feel like contemporary Christian music is relatively dull and cliché relative to its secular pop counterpart, 2.0 will prove you wrong.  With kinetic blasts of energy that recall the best of Pharrell Williams, "Elevate" encases Zechariah 4:6 in a bouncing pop grove that grabs you at the get-go. Another song that will get the prophet Zechariah dancing is "Rival."  Capturing the essence of the message of the Old Testament prophets, "Rivals" addresses the supremacy of Christ over the copious idols in our lives. Nevertheless, it's not just the melodies that are arresting.  Give the jaunty rock n' roll influenced "Set It on Fire" a listen; the lyrics will definitely challenge us to a deeper grasp of what discipleship means.

Lead single "When I'm with You" decelerates the sound a decibel.  Inspired by their tragic loss of a son through miscarriage, "When I'm With You," is particularly ambulating to those of us who have had suffered loss.  Also aimed for the heart is the piano-led "I Will." This is a gorgeous ballad sung from the perspective of God the Father when He sees us squirming in our raging sea.  Incorporating an infectious R&B soul, some jazzy piano tingles, and emo beats, "All My Cares" will get our feet stomping. While "On My Side" is a pure worship song with lots of quotable lines with the favorite being: "I found freedom in surrender."   

Citizen Way has saved the best for last.  Album closer "Bulletproof" is the bomb. Sounding like a sure fire club banger with its swirling dance beats that recall Michael Jackson in his thriller heydays, "Bulletproof" is the celebration of the sublime beauty of what it means to be in Christ.  The music is enticing.  The lyrics are gloriously liberating.  And the beats are so fresh.  Such a combination can be severely addictive!  Now, can I listen to "Bulletproof" again?



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