- Laurence Blake, AKA Citizen, has taken a fair amount of (often rather unfair) flack for supposedly falling back on classic house tropes since his star began to rise last year. This EP finds him retaining plenty of populist instincts, but cloaking them in harder, darker atmospheres than we've previously seen. Despite its dusky sheen, "Naomi" is a straightforward Huge Tune. Its breathy vocal motif ("Only the one that hurts you, can make you feel better/ Only the one who inflicts the pain, can take it away") is surrounded by a gradually swelling arrangement of kicks, tough synth chords and chainsaw whooshes, before a gigantic synth riff takes centre stage for a frantic last couple of minutes. Its closing stretch in particular will be too giddy for some people, but it fulfils its obvious big-room aims without resorting to (much) cheesiness.
The "Warehouse Dub" of "Naomi" initially doesn't feel terribly different to the original. But closer listening shows it's a bit smoother and more submerged-feeling, with a humming depth that should appeal to those who find the original too much. The package come to a relatively subtle end with "Closer," Citizen's equivalent of a ballad. It takes another growling male vocal and pits it against snapping drums and synth pops, hovering B-movie pads and little Chicago-house vocal flourishes.
B1 Naomi (Warehouse Dub)