Citizen Charlie
Up Yours

1. Until the day
2. All in all
3. So what to do
4. Give it up
5. Out of this world
6. Up Yours
7. Watch you die
8. Don't tell me
9. So you think
10. Faith no more
11. Losing

Charlie Forsberg - Vocals
Ola Hakon Svendsen - Guitar
Niko Grasaasen - Guitar
Jon Øyvind Nordby - Bass
Fredrik A. Olsen - Drums

Citizen Charlie (2008)
Until The Day (EP 2010)
Up Yours (2010)



Released 11/2-2012
Reviewed 9/5-2012


Norwegian vocalist Charlie Forsberg is probably not having any alluding thoughts to the Orson Wells masterpiece Citizen Kane at all with her project Citizen Charlie. At least the music is quite far from the hunt for "Rosebud" that begun in 1941 but the name comes with a familiar tone. This is the second album by Charlie and her band and it was released already back in 2010. So why do I review the album first by now? Well, this February it was released again and the strange thing with this release is that it has no bonus tracks and no other bonus features either. I haven't come up with any reason to why the album is released again nor why it comes without bonus material but I think it's pretty strange. Especially considering that even my DVD edition of Citizen Kane had some bonus features in the shape of a documentary.

Female fronted rock with a rebellic sound is what we get from Citizen Charlie. It has a dirty, punk-rock (ish) sound and the music feels more alternative than commercial with a sweet breath of 80's and early 90's rock. My thesaurus reads Joan Jett and her Heartbreakers due to the loudly distorted guitars and her shouty vocals. But all of you thinking of how Susan Alexander shouted her voice out in Citizen Kane will have to think again since this is more of a rock 'n' roll shout and Charlie even takes on a cleaner and clearer tone in songs like Give It Up and Faith No More as she tries the higher notes.

Overall this album feels pretty decent to me and Charlie Manages to maintain her listeners throughout the entire album. However, I never really feel blown away by the album or that I get some sort of rush by listening to the album. Not the first time I heard it and not the thirteenth time either. I feel the album is kind of floating around in the air or the conscious in the same way as the stolen childhood of Charles Foster Kane haunted him - it's there but somehow not and you start to search for substitutes for what's missing. The problem is that even though you'll find the sled it still won't compensate for the fact that something is missing on the album and in my opinion the thing that's missing is the fact that the album is too shallow and dull to reach beyond the surface.

The real issue with the album comes from the songs and how they've been written. There are plenty of melodies that doesn't work at all with each other and melodies are thrown around more randomly than the furniture in Kanes bedroom after his wife has left him. This disturbs the flow in the music and I never feel it works continuously. Looking at the instrumental performance the album works better. There are no major screw-ups and the music is simple and uncomplicated yet keeps from repeating itself too much. The overall quality feels OK and most of the songs have a slightly different characteristics from the others. Instrumentally it might be simple but it stills feel good and the quality is still pretty decent.

Something that feels a bit poor is the lack of really good songs and I feel they don't compensate for this shortcomming with anything else that makes 'Up Yours' feel special in any kind of way. The music is decent but not overly interesting or exciting to hear repeatedly. The sound is more or less like a black and white movie with interesting photography - it's not really 3D with gorgeous pastel colours everywhere, giving your eyes an orgasm - but it still looks decent. Kind of like Citizen Kane.

As you see, some similarities with Citizen Kane can be found in Citizen Charlie but all in all it's an adventure of its own. 'Up Yours' is not a fantastic album and it will probably never be considered so by time either since it feels a bit too uninteresting to be that. However, I do feel it have good elements which is why I've placed it on the average, just. The best track is Give It Up with its nice rock 'n' roll drive but the album as a whole remains a mystery unsolved from which we just have to draw our own conclusions...




Label: Rocksector/Drugstore/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Joan Jett/Courtney Love/The Runaways
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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