Exclaim! - Kristin Cavoukian - May 13, 2019 - 8/10
Leaf Rapids is the musical brainchild of Keri and Devin Latimer. Named after Devin's hometown in Northwestern Manitoba, and following debut full-length, Lucky Stars, in 2015, Leaf Rapids are a slightly more introspective project than their more upbeat and Juno-winning alt-country band, Nathan. But the couple have been remarkably consistent in the quality of the music they put out, and this second Leaf Rapids recording is no exception.
Keri Latimer has a voice that's pretty and full of character; unmistakably hers, it's the standout mainstay of the Leaf Rapids sound. But there's also her thoughtful songwriting and unexpected lyrical turns, the addition of dreamy pedal steel, and the appearance, on some tracks, of the even dreamier Theremin, that make the band so recognizable. This magical combination is also what makes their music so darn good.
There isn't a bad song on Citizen Alien, but "Barbershop Shears" stands out as particularly good, and with its chorus of backing vocals, almost has a Leonard Cohen-esque feel to it. It also has a fascinating backstory — Keri Latimer's grandmother once stabbed a man with a pair of the aforementioned scissors.
While this album doesn't really depart from the band's first release, that's hardly a critique. If it ain't broke — and in this case it clearly ain't — no need to fix it. (Coax)