2. The Circle in the Square
3. Run (Run Run Run)
5. On Loss and having
6. Gonna Be Free
7. One Last Show
9. Wrestling Israel
11. The Rose & The Thistle
13. Journey After War (War Fatigues)
14. Stop The Apocalypse
Social commentary in art is nothing new. For centuries, art and music have reflected views of the artist and the society. In recent times, there has not been a shortage of this type of commentary. However, few musicians can create social commentary nearly as well as Flobots. We all remember them for the hit song “Handlebars” but their newest album, “The Circle in the Square” is as socially relevant and even more enjoyable to listen too, and that is saying something.
The sound on this new album is a bit like a cross of trance, funk, and sixties rock. There is a fun quality to the sound, which makes the dense lyrics much easier to absorb. The viola and soft, yet intense drums give nearly every song an understated power that makes you feel like you absolutely need to finish listening to the song. I thoroughly enjoy every moment of this album that features Mackenzie Gault’s voice. She has such a rich sultry and enchanting sound, I cannot help but be entranced. The album also features a great combination of melodic exchanges and rap. In fact, one of the best moments on the album is towards the end of “Journey After War” when there are two rappers and female vocalist all doing their own thing, weaving an intricate acoustic tapestry. Sadly, it sounds like one of the rappers just barely misses his note, which is supposed to resonate until the end of the song, but it does not really take away too much from the overall quality of the song.
Some of my favorite tracks from this album are “Wrestling Israel,” “The Rose & the Thistle,” and “Journey After War.” I also appreciate the shout-out to my homestate, Colorado, in “Stop the Apocalypse.” Yet, once again, I am pleased to say that there is not one track on this album that feels like fluff. Every song has something unique about it that makes it worthy of a listen. The Flobots really nailed it with this one.