The emotional intensity of Flare's Circa album is instantly the disc's most compelling asset. "Sick of being lied to" is the first line of "Triumph of the Pig People" and is sung immediately, synchronized with the beginning of the music. The somber tones continue throughout the album. On the title track, the mix of Jon De Rosa on banjo and James Jacobs on cello creates an ambient and serene quality. A sense of hope emerges on "Anywhere (Like the Moon)," complete with ukulele and piano by LD Beghtol and marxophone and synthesizer by Charles Newman. The lyrics focus on the painful aspects of the human condition. Flare's leader, Beghtol, was a featured vocalist on the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, and his controlled emotional focus on this effort forces the average listener to freeze in the moment. The soulful Beghtol and friends have created a collection of thoughtful songs with their combination of minimal instrumentation and eager swooning. The songs were recorded at Mother West Studios in New York. The disc was released on Subliminal Violence in 2000.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer