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A New Model
Posted March 10, 2016
By AmandaDeWilde_NRT, Staff Reviewer


You may recognize this Illinois-based band from their chart-topping singles "Should've Been Me" or "How Sweet the Sound." Citizen Way gained the attention of Christian music fans everywhere with their 2013 debut album Love is the Evidence. Their smooth but lively style is one that left listeners wanting more. Do they deliver in their sophomore album? That's a question answered by what Citizen Way's 2.0 has to offer.

The opening track, "Elevated," immediately knocked me off my feet and pulled me in, raising my expectations for the rest of the album. The song is driven by catchy guitar riffs and a steady beat. The overall energy and style of the track is reminiscent of fellow pop rock band Manic Drive.

"Rivals" starts off a bit slower, the lyrics provoking a bit of introspection about those times when you feel discouraged and just want to give up, then building to a triumphant chorus stating that we have no rivals that Christ cannot overcome.

Characterized by lead singer Ben Calhoun's buttery vocals, "When I'm with You" describes the perfect peace that can be found in the arms of the Savior. This song feels like the warm, comforting hug of a loved one after a long, stressful day. In a similar vein content-wise, "All My Cares" expresses the emotional freedom that comes from handing your cares over to the Master. 

"Set It On Fire" gives us a glimpse into the album's purpose with the line, "This is a heart reset, this is the 2.0 / this is the wave goodbye, or is it hello?" This song is about change, about the metamorphosis of discarding the negative parts of ourselves and allowing our lives to be changed from the inside out.

If you're looking for a song to dance to on this album, "Bulletproof" is the one. This song carries all the pep and spunk of Maroon 5's hit "Sugar." It's fun, catchy and upbeat with a positive message to top it off. The dance party vibe makes it a great ending track for 2.0.

2.0 has a pleasant flow to its music, interrupted only slightly by a few songs with over-repeated choruses which are remedied by how overall enjoyable this album is.

Closing Thoughts:
Redemption is often an understandably common theme in the Christian music world. Citizen Way takes it a step further and digs into what life looks like after redemption. Salvation doesn't make us a finished product; it's only the beginning. What comes next is reformation and the journey of becoming a new version of ourselves-- a 2.0 model, if you will. Citizen Way takes that journey with you, and entertains you with some catchy tunes on the way.

Song to Download Now: 
"Elevated" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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