CitayLittle Kingdom
  • FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2007

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When the first song on Citay’s Little Kingdom (Dead Oceans) emanates from the speaker, you realize that there has never been such truth in advertising. “First Fantasy” lives up to its title with great harmonies, psychedelic guitar work and wordless, but triumphant vocals. This sets a pattern that the band doesn’t stray away from throughout, but then again, it might be the whole point.

Led by former Piano Magic drummer Ezra Feinberg and including Tim Green, of Fucking Champs fame, Citay evokes sunny days and open spaces. It is music meant to be taken in during those communal moments that one can only share with friends. Don’t I sound like a hippie? Again…that’s the point. It’s jam-band like without the intense focus on technical chops or showing off. It’s lazy, loose and patient. Citay realizes that in order to appreciate the totality of the sounds meeting your ears they might have to be deliberately drawn out.

Making the case for music that organically grows until its’ ultimate climax, Little Kingdom comes off complexly natural. Citay has pulled off the trick of meticulously crafting music that sounds like it came off of the top of their heads while recording. There’s a definite Grateful Dead influence here, as heard on the track “A Riot of Color (which sounds like what one sees while on psychedelic drugs), but Feinberg and crew have a sound totally their own. Yes, the theme is generally the same from the beginning to the last track “Moonburn,” but that’s the point. This harks back to the early post-Beatles days when music listeners valued a long player. Little Kingdom makes a great cause to start caring about the concept of an album again. - Stephon Johnson

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