Review by Dom Vigil
Citizen Shade’s One For The Evening EP is absolutely mind blowing from the very first moment that vocalist Will Howard opens his mouth on the beautiful opening track, “If You Want.” Obviously, the first thing that stands out about “If You Want” are Howard’s jaw droppingly beautiful vocals (which at times, sound very similar to Sam Smith) but that’s not the only strong thing about this EP. Musically, One For The Evening is amazing as well, from intricate piano parts, strong horn sections and catchy as hell bass lines. Each track on this EP brings something new to the table, making each of them worth listening to.
“If You Want” provides merely a glimpse into Citizen Shade, and the following track, “Thank You For Your Time” really picks up the pace. Carried heavily by bass and a strong horn section, the vocal work throughout the song (while still strong) takes a backseat to some incredible instrumentation. Citizen Shade doesn’t simply rely on strong vocals to make each track stand out. Even the piano parts in “Thank You For Your Time” are sweeping, intricate and beautiful as well. And then, just as the song comes to an end, Howard does this insane vocal run, really showing off his massive range.
Another standout track is the ballad, “Forfeit Tomorrow,” which hosts easily some of the strongest vocal work on the EP, alongside a beautiful string section and somber piano. Howard shows off his four-octave vocal range with ease on this track, and just when you think it can’t get any better, Lauren Light’s guest vocal part comes in and meshes perfectly with the song.
On the opposite end of the musical spectrum is the following track, “Funk War,” which is fun, catchy and poppy. The lead bass line and tone is incredible, the vocals are strong, and the lyrics on this track are fun and even a little humorous as Howard sings, “I swear to drunk I’m not God.”
The differing moods and sounds on One For The Evening wouldn’t normally work well together, but from slower ballads with an emotional string section to poppier funk track with strong bass and horns, Citizen Shade manage to bridge that gap between genres. Citizen Shade explore more diversity in six tracks than most artists do in twelve songs, and I cannot wait to see what they do with (hopefully) a future full-length.
Listen to "Thank You For Your Time"
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