David and The Citizens is the project of Swedish songwriter David Fridlund. Their self-titled EP released on Friendly Fire Recording contains six tracks. Since I just read a track by track review of another album, I've decided to tackle this review the same way.
"Graycoated Morning" -The stomping drum intro of the EP is a perfect lead in for the epic Beulah-like horn lines that seem to signal the arrival of David Fridlund like a King would be introduced in Medieval times. Fridlund's tenor kicks in after 29 seconds to a version of "Rosalita" had Bruce Springsteen been a Swedish guy who grew up daydreaming about California. The song goes in and out of choruses, horn solos, and stomping drums to finish up as an insanely catchy pop song that would make any listener have to listen to Track 2.
"Now She Sleeps in a Box in the Good Soil of Denmark" - David Fridlund takes a page from the Jeff Magnum songbook in "Now She Sleeps." In my opinion, it takes some guts to write an acoustic narrative. Fridlund succeeds in every possible way and ends the song by telling the listener to "shut your mouth." So what can we do but shut our mouths and listen? The answer is nothing.
"Big Chills" - The best songs are the ones that aren't predictable. The songwriter takes unexpected turns with chord progression, lyrics, guitar lines and makes the listener feel like they have just been sucker punched. The unexpected turns in "Big Chill" make this the best song on the album. From the beginning pounding drums and dissonant guitar line to the Teenage Fanclub harmony soaked chorus, this song goes in a 100 directions, but never seems to stop working.
"Let Me Put It This Way" - "Let Me Put It This Way" starts as an acoustic pop song and takes a very similar route throughout the whole song. An organ takes over doing the dirty work that the guitar had been taking care of up to this point. Hand-claps ensue and Fridlund's tenor gets as deep as I could possibly imagine it getting only to end with a powerful protest of an ex-lover.
"Summer Is No-Man's Land" - The fifth track keeps up with the simple yet elegant pop sound of this EP. Fridlund uses the "I Should Have Known Better" harmonica line in the intro but quickly does away with any trace of anything Beatles in this song. Again, Fridlund takes the song to an unexpected place with a climbing vocal line supported by a beautiful muted trumpet.
"Let's Not Fall Apart" - Most of this EP is very playful in it's lyrics, melodies, instrumentation, and arrangements. The last song, "Let's Not Fall Apart", is no different. But unlike many other Scandanavian pop acts, David and The Citizen's have done their research and the dreamy California sound of the 60's work perfectly on the nostalgic closer. Fridlund pronounces, "Not much other things I meant to do with my life." He's probably right. He won't have to do much else if he can create a full length that is as well put together as this EP.