Published Jan 27, 2020BC rock group We Are the City are back with their fifth album, RIP. This album follows closely behind their more experimental At Night acting as its "prog pop counterpoint."
We Are the City waste no time jumping right in with the haunting but catchy "Killer B-Side Music." Distorted guitars and belted-out lyrics make this an absolute banger, starting the album out exceptionally strong. "Obviously" stands out on the album for its unique arrangement; singer-keyboardist Cayne McKenzie sings "When I was young I thought time would never change me," as disjointed drums and keys skip out pausing, before he relents with "but it did."
The theme of passing time and nostalgia for the simplicity of youth floats across the album. "Song in My Head" is a twee indie pop bop that relates having a crush to getting a song stuck in your head. It's cute, catchy and seems made for a teen film montage. "You're So Clean" is most traditional pop song on the album, competing with "Song in My Head" for biggest earworm tendencies.
The second half of the album slows down momentarily and drifts away from its pop sensibilities. "You Can't Blame Me, But You Can Blame Yourself" is an instrumental, psychedelic pop track that sounds like a Tame Impala outtake. "God&Man" and "Saint Peter" reflect on their relationship with God, religion being a central unifying element for the Christian band members.
RIP's back half includes "Me+Me," a guitar-driven piece of self-reflection, and "I'm Not Yours Anymore." The latter stands out for its lyric-driven approach and its abrasive start — "this song makes me sad," McKenzie sings, just begging you to keep listening to find out why. The album then ends with an emotional meditation on the loss of a childhood friend that also acts as the titular song, "RIP". It's raw and honest, leaving you in a moment of realness as you come down from the high that the album brings about as a whole. (Light Organ)