The Circle in the Square

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Returning at a time when America feels at its most divided, Flobots face dark times with positivity on their third album, The Circle in the Square. Announced on the day the Occupy Wall Street movement began and released during an election year, the album comes at a time that finds the country dividing itself along political, socioeconomic, and spiritual lines, but rather than head into the fray with vitriol, it feels as if Flobots are making a conscious effort to remain calm, enlightening listeners to the things happening around them without necessarily trying to incite them to get angry about it, even speaking out against violence on "On Loss and Having." That message gets expanded upon on "Gonna Be Free," where the message seems to be about using our collective voices to come together and build things rather than tear them apart. When artists attach an album to current events, they run the risk of things quickly becoming dated and irrelevant as the world sorts itself out. Fortunately for Flobots, the messages in The Circle in the Square feel pretty universal. While the matter of whether or not hip-hop backed by a live band is your taste is purely a subjective one, and though The Circle in the Square is more likely to land with fans of Flobots than the uninitiated, the album's message that people should work together to build a better tomorrow is easy for anyone to identify with.

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