Exposé Online banner

Citizen K — III
(Paraply 023, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-05-01

III Cover art

It amazes me how an artist can adopt another's style so comprehensively and completely, and yet never actually steal any compositional ideas, but for Swedish singer and songwriter Klas Qvist, otherwise known as Citizen K, there is no doubt about the music that informs his own on this, his third album III. Opening instrumental “Welcome Abroad” is a breezy pop piece that might remind you of the old carefree days of summer, The Beach Boys perhaps, but given a thorough updating, but as soon as the second song, “True Companions,” starts, primarily because of Qvist’s vocals, any listener steeped in 60s and 70s music will be immediately reminded of Paul McCartney’s post Beatles, Ram era work, both in the singing and compositional style, arrangements and overall spirit. It’s like a McCartney song you’ve never heard before, but because it is what it is, one loves it immediately. It continues with “Let This Be Love,” starting as an acoustic guitar based piece, though fully orchestrated, like many in the latter part of the Beatles catalog, before it morphs into a fun rock song. Essentially Qvist plays every instrument here (six and twelve string guitars, acoustic and electric, bass, and keyboards) except the drums, which are mostly played by Kim Gunneriusson, with programming and sound effects by by Andreas Holmstedt, and other guests that play this instrument or that, track depending, but make no mistake, this is Qvist’s show. “Toolmaker’s Daughter” is one of the album’s standouts, perhaps a bit less Beatle-esque than others, more like the band America, but Qvist has a way with lyrics, sung clearly and easy to understand, and this is among the finest. “Oceans Call” takes a simple Pink-Floyd like riff and transforms it with a bass-heavy groove, while “Once You Had” goes back to a more gentle acoustic sound showcasing that wonderful voice and unforgettable melody and lyrical imagery. A second instrumental “Beasts of England” has a bit of a 70s style, leading right into the vocal track “And You Danced All Night” with a very Beach Boys feel but more up to date with a several great guitar solos and hooks galore. There are thirteen cuts here in all, and many more gems than the few I’ve called out. Many other artists have been inspired by the same foundational pop styles — you know them: Badfinger, 10cc, Klaatu, Stackridge, Brian Wilson, and many others, and with III Citizen K takes a well deserved place among the best of them.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Citizen K / Klas Qvist

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cyan - Pictures from the Other Side – Take two moderately decent, although thoroughly modern sounding 10+ minute rock opuses, and sandwich a bunch of mediocre-at-best pop tracks between them, and you come up with something like this...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues