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Citizen Cain - Somewhere but Yesterday CD (album) cover


Citizen Cain


Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 170 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Some people say this is just a clone, well, if so, let there be clones!!

Obviously Cyrus voice is so similar to Gabriel's, and much of the musical style is also in the vein of early Genesis, that you can not help thinking about the clone thing, mostly during the first few listens. But this album contains an overwhelming amount of true inspiration and top musicianship, by its own merits. Put aside the clone phantom and listen to this record without prejudices, and you will find a timeless masterpiece. Similarly to how Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear sounded to all of us so much like Genesis when we first heard it back in '83 but we now regard it as something in itself (I am assuming you do, like me), after enough listens I got rid of the clone feeling. Sure enough the voice is still much more Gabriel-like than Fish's, but when you manage to divert your focus from the voice effect, you come to realise that the music itself is not so Genesis-like after all as you first thought. Especially the electric guitar has a very different feel from Hackett's, and you also start to see other strong influences like Jethro Tull. And anyway, even assuming that the job was to create a Genesis clone, you have to be a genius to create such a good one.

What baffles me most about this record is the sheer inspiration of all its music, it's quite a long album at nearly 68min and there's not one single low in it. I have all the records of Citizen Cain and nowhere can I find anything remotely close to the music in SBY. I really struggle to understand how the same guys who have created for the most part rather unsatisfying music (albeit admittedly intriguing and interesting) could come up with this astounding work. I can only conclude that they were touched by the hand of god during a brief period of time.

The musicianship is excellent and the attention to detail really mind-blowing. The lyrics are a real tour de force both in extension (and yet they manage to interlink enough instrumental fragments, if only just enough) as in contents (blending fantasy, epic, irony, cynism, poetry, obscurity?).

It too has several details of true originality, to mention a few: 1. each track consists actually of the main song plus a short totally different "aftersong". 2. the album ends with the same struck note as it starts, so if you play it with a player which replays automatically, the end of the record actually links to the start again. 3. the surrealistic artwork by Cyrus (which suggests that he is something more than just an imitator singer). 4. the echoed phrasing between synth and flute and the double vocal melody in "Echoes" are not in itself something original (Yes have mastered double vocal melodies for decades), but this whole segment still mesmerizes me every time I listen to it. 5. in the booklet we get the lyrics of a non-existing first track "Heretic", I guess it's a sort of "bonus poetry".

I will not go into a detailed review of each track, they are all superb. The people who will like this are those who like early Genesis, Jethro Tull and the likes, which I guess it's most of us in the Prog Archives community. I can not recommend this album enough.

Gerinski | 5/5 |


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