Flobots Circle in the Square Album Review
Alternative Hip Hop act Flobots began their career in the year 2000 and garnered most their success from their debut album, Fight with Tools. Their single Handlebars quickly reached the top of Billboard and iTunes charts which further shoved them into the mainstream spotlight. With countless television and magazine appearances under their belt (not to mention countless fans eagerly awaiting their second release), Flobots social commentary and ideas of a better tomorrow will not be left unheard.
Gearing up for the release of their new album, Circle in the Square, Flobots dropped the title track and video for, â€œCircle in the Square. From its fun break beat, Jungle style drumming to its almost mocking bass line and gritty in your face lyrics (â€œel pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido the people united shall never be defeated), the song is bound to cause a deliberate buzz. Influenced by the Egyptian protests that took place at Cairo’s Tahrir Square in 2011, the protest song marks the time when President Hosni Mubarak stepped down which in turn resounded praises of freedom and further encouraged people to Get Up, Stand Up across the world. This backdrop sets an even tone for the rest of the album.
The Circle in the Square concept album groove starts off with a heady message sparking revolution. The track Run (Run Run Run) speaks of the urgency and importance of never giving up while the eastern sounds of Sides reinforce the movement. Sordid turbulence and whimsical viola in On Loss and Having whisk you away through tunnels of your mind, painting pictures of a dreary world. Gonna be Free brings on the determination, sweetness and longing of a peaceful world. One Last Show picks you back up with a dancehall flavor that just may have you on your feet. Quick Interlude is track 8 which is a classic beauty all in its own; its quiet instrumentation fills you with anticipation and acts as a precursor to the marching sounds of Wrestling Israel. The distance and panning at the beginning of Loneliness sets you off to a good down tempo feel as keys lead you out. The Rose and the Thistle has an 80′s pop rock feel with vocals reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra and clever rhymes that keep you wandering in a lush garden trying not to get poked. The fuzz guitar entrance to OccupyEarth is as pleasing as the vocal layering over viola come mid song which serves well for the hypnotic build and steady release. The track Stop the Apocalypse (which was supposed to be the original album title) features chord progression coupled with drum brakes similar to Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. For the last track, Flobots offers a pensive instrumental which leaves you digging through the culture vaults to pinpoint the abrupt sound. Production throughout the album is clean with a few creases that only serve to make a point of how the world is ever changing as people begin to rise and raise their voices for the betterment of their generation and the generations to follow.
Flobots sophomore release offers both musical arrangement that keeps you interested and lyrical content worthy of front page news. The Circle in the Square is slated for an August 28th release through Shanachie Entertainment and is an album that should not be slept on.