His second album under the Owensie alias, Michael Owen’s Citizens is a warm and spirited release, a self assured follow up to his well received debut. For so early in a career this is an accomplished effort, and carries with it all the hooks of a great record and an impressive range of both slow and lively, instrument rich numbers.
The lead in ‘Hang Your Head Low’ is weighty both in theme and sound; the hollow acoustic’s quality of the recording beautifully captured. The band accompaniment of cello, and viola, on tracks such as the bossa nova styled ‘Distance Of Her Love’ and ‘Rouge Trade’ are a welcome addition to the returning Julia Mahon and Andy Mooney on saxophone and percussion. The extension of the band adds an extra layered element to the overall impact of the songs.
This move to more uptempo is a clear shift from his acoustic origins, yet Owensie manages to expertly shift, and soar between. This is heard with ‘As you Grow’ which has this jazz influence, similar to ‘Doing it All’ versus ‘The Land’ with its slow lamenting style. Elements of Jose Gonzalez and Sufjan Stevens ring throughout, less serial killer lyrical content, but that same emotive qualities, delicately warm vocals, and guitar fingerpicking, heard in ‘Penny Or The Tear.’ Confidently produced, and still maintaining it’s endearing rough edges; this second offering reaffirms the fact that Owensie is Irish talent on the rise, and has deservingly earned him a posy of loyal fans.