Global Citizen – “Nil by Mouth”: Viva Music Album Review

September 23, 2011 in Album Reviews

Tracklist: “Kimochi Ii” * “Don’t Make It Slow” * “Things” * “New” * “Nil by Mouth” * “Broken Doll” * “Early Morning Star” * “Hilton” * “Your Majesty” * “Immaculate Ejaculate” * “Sleep Precious Sleep

About Global Citizen:

In the works since 1994, then under the moniker of Constructive Noise, Global Citizen took their name from the title of one of their initial b-side tracks; in its turn the name of the track was inspired by a combination of a cosmopolitan mercenary of the likes of “Leon” and the notion of globalization entailed by the early years of the internet. In their contemporariness, Global Citizen released two album, “Master Stroke” (2008) and “Nil by Mouth” (2011), as well as numerous singles and extended versions of tracks from these albums: “Tea Time”, “Early Morning Star”, “Broken Doll”, as well as “Don’t Make It Slow” (forthcoming).

Global Citizen – “Nil by Mouth” – Viva Music Review:

Nil by Mouth” was a 1997 movie written and directed by Gary Oldman, which remained in cinema history not only because it is a good movie and incidentally Oldman’s debut as both writer and director, but also for saucy trivia such as the number of times the f-word is repeated through the movie (428 or 3.54/minute – yes! someone counted!). Global Citizen cannot take pride in the same record with their album “Nil by Mouth” – only one such use of the f-word may seem in total opposition with the movie, and in fact it is. Global Citizen don’t need the f- word in order to get dirty, seems to be the moral of the album. Without being a general audience movie (keep on reading and you will find out why), “Nil by Mouth” aims high and scores bull’s-eye in no time. With a very good, competitive edge to their electronica, the guys in Global Citizen take a deep dive into sonic pleasures they wish to share with their listeners, and in fact they manage to create quite a stir! With their “dark, moody, twisted, sexy and often downright perverse music with striking imagery”, they are clearly setting on a mission to seduce. And while to some it may be altogether x-rated content, “Nil by Mouth” is also a conveyor of good music and good feelings.

The kickoff track for this good music and these good felings is “Kimochi Ii” (ambiguous Japanese for general language “good feeling” and hentai-connoisseur “I have come”; it is not the first time Global Citizen flirted with Japanese eroticism, as their first album featured a “Bukkake Smile” track). A very healthy track, with numerous musical incursions and a very delicate genre corolla, it is quite a good appetizer for the album, and also a very powerful track. Not unlike “Kimochi Ii”, “Don’t Make It Slow”, expected as a single release, grows out of the previous track and supersedes the expectations set by it. A sensuous seduction game in itself, the track is served HOT with appropriate lyrics (and chorus; the lines “You’re biting on the pillow, your nails rip through my skin” are quite evocative and provocative, don’t you think?) and with a simmering dark vibe that really suits the context. The fact that it is also supposed to come out as a single release is not without consequence; if we take into account the number of reworks and remixes from which releases from the same album, namely “Broken Doll” and “Early Morning Star” we can already imagine a wealth of interpretation of the track that sounds so good in its album edit version!

 “Things” is also an appealing track in its relentless self-judgmental only line “I make things difficult for myself” and it comes in a pack that also includes a very appropriate music line, a sort of sonic companion for the processes running through the mind of someone who judges him/herself anything but lightly. And then Global Citizen do not leave their guard down, and take us forward with their “New”. There are tinges of old-school Marylin Manson in the track, not at all at the most overt level, but it surely brings back to mind the same mist of erudite sexuality and exoticism. In the plot of the song, the memory of a geisha who was advertised as being ‘new’ and whose business might thrive if Global Citizen promoted their services (and phone number!) via a song is really touching, and one cannot but wonder how many listeners actually dialed the number and who was on the other end of the telephone! (For the record, the number is: 07981.052.645 – anything from real promotion to revenge on a bad girlfriend comes to mind).

After the song that gives the title of the album, “Nil by Mouth”, the time has come for the listener to confront him/herself with the magic wrought by “Broken Doll”. With its abasiophilia scenario (referring to the sexual attraction to people who are partially or temporarily impaired and/or wearing prosthetic casts), it gives in vivid colors and with a teasing musical line quite an engaging song, the conclusion of which is poetical, to say the least: “The city is seething, with attention seeking, pleasure providing, broken dolls”.

And if you thought that is Global Citizen at its most earnest, then you are probably wrong. The bondage fantasy of “Early Morning Star”, including a plethora a sexual practices from binding to what French sensualist poets would have applauded if they heard of Global Citizen’s “romancing the hole”, fades in front of the musical content of the song. How lucky Global Citizen are, to provide such good music to debatable content! Lovely as is, in fact, the track, followed up close by “Hilton” and “Your Majesty”, is also a privileged one, since it benefited from no less than 11 remixes! You need, however, to hold up for what is coming next: “Immaculate Ejaculate”, a cursive track that seals a win-win deal with the listener. Notwithstanding their consistency throughout the album, the band are not uneasy with providing totally new melodic content, and the last track from their “Nil by Mouth”, “Sleep Precious Sleep” illustrates this notion very methodically. With a thick layer of 1980’s nostalgic electronica cushioned between the edgier and darker sounds that pertain to the times we live in, “Sleep Precious Sleep” would not have sounded so good even if it were commissioned work for already notorious artists. It is genuine, pure and sincere – what else can you ask from a song?

All in all, Global Citizen divide their time and attention in “Nil by Mouth” between being romantic sensualists and softcore fetishists; but they do not work out such division of labor when it comes to music: their music has nothing obscene about it, and definitely nothing of lower quality. Their sustained efforts come in high dosage and with multiple facets and make “Nil by Mouth” a very recommendable listen! Enjoy!

 Global Citizen – Official Website | on Facebook


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