Citrine album review


Hayley Kiyoko teased her fans for a solid month before the release of her new EP “Citrine” with teaser trailers, music videos and Instagram posts. Finally, at midnight, Sept. 30, she released it to the public and it is even better than expected.

Compared to other Disney child stars, Kiyoko has made a relatively smooth transition to a career based almost solely on her music. In 2010 she starred in Disney Channel’s original movie “Lemonade Mouth,” and played Velma in the live action Scooby Doo movie produced by Cartoon Network (in addition to many smaller roles). There was a lull after her band The Stunners broke up in 2011, allowing her some down time to change everything about herself. In that short four year period, Kiyoko rebranded herself from child star to misunderstood musician, in one of the most seamless transitions the music industry has ever seen.

This EP “Citrine” marks her third EP released, and the start of the first leg of her first ever tour. It also marks the first album that she has not been working on a movie or TV show at the time of its release, meaning that she has devoted more time and focus to this album than any of her others. On the same day that Citrine was released, it hit No. 2 on the iTunes charts, an impressive feat for a small indie artist.

The headlining track on the EP is my personal favorite, “Gravel to Tempo” was released along with a music video a full month ahead of the rest of the tracks. I would recommend watching the music video first, Kiyoko produces all of her own music videos and thus they go amazing with the messages of her song. “Gravel to Tempo” escalates artfully from a tense scene in which Kiyoko burns the pictures of all her crushes in high school, to dancing freely in front of them. It represents a beautiful message of being yourself and not letting any of your crushes in high school define you– an important thing for many people in our day and age to realize. It’s a classic dance track, and despite having listened to it over forty times, this track hasn’t gotten old yet.

After “Gravel to Tempo”, I didn’t think any of the other tracks on the EP would measure up. I was 100 percent wrong. “Ease my Mind” was just as impressive as the first song released, but in a completely different way. While I love the lyrics as much as any other Kiyoko song, this song has an incredible light melody drifting through that really carries it. All of her songs are light, but this one is especially airy while still being something that you can belt out in the car with all your friends.

The rest of the songs were just as good. If I had to pick my least favorite song on the EP, it would be “One Bad Night,” but only because it felt like it was lacking some instrument, although which I don’t know. It didn’t escalate to anything, so the entire song pretty much sounds the same. However, the music video was incredible and almost made me cry. Kiyoko managed to tell yet another broken story of our world in just a few minutes, and “One Bad Night” was the perfect backdrop to the self-produced video about finding escape.

Overall, “Citrine” didn’t fail to disappoint. Despite only having six songs, I’ve listened to it for three days straight and it still hasn’t gotten old. I’m crossing my fingers that the rest of the music videos are as good as the two out now, but honestly I’d watch them regardless.

The Parkway West Pathfinder gives Hayley Kiyoko’s “Citrine” a 9.6/10.