The Go! Team

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - LUKE PEAR­SON

Semi­cir­cle

Af­ter go­ing solo for 2015’s The Scene Be­tween, Brighton-based pop mas­ter­mind Ian Par­ton re­turns with more of his sig­na­ture melodic acu­men on Semi­cir­cle, which, in ad­di­tion to the usual col­lec­tion of guest vo­cal­ists, fea­tures con­tri­bu­tions from the Detroit Youth Choir, a par­tic­u­larly in­spired move. De­spite this in­flux of col­lab­o­ra­tive tal­ent, things sound largely the same, but with a project as re­li­able as the Go! Team, that’s not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing. Al­bum opener “May­day” is an al­most par­o­dic roll call of the usual Go! Team tropes: blar­ing march­ing-band horns, trash­can beats and shout-along chants. Where Par­ton shines, how­ever, is in his way with melody, and al­though there are per­haps fewer peaks than on pre­vi­ous ef­forts, there are some ir­re­sistibly catchy mo­ments here. “If There’s One Thing You Should Know”

im­me­di­ately be­longs to the up­per ech­e­lon of Par­ton’s work, fea­tur­ing vo­cals from Maki, and the giddy cho­rus of “The An­swer’s No - Now What’s the Ques­tion” ba­si­cally com­mands you to clap your hands — rel­a­tive un­known vo­cal­ist Darenda Weaver (whom Par­ton dis­cov­ered on Band­camp) ac­quits her­self nicely on this one. The ti­tle track is another high­light, fea­tur­ing smile-in­duc­ing in­tro­duc­tions from the DYC mem­bers giv­ing their as­tro­log­i­cal signs. In fact, Par­ton’s typ­i­cal sam­ple-heavy, live-off-the-floor pro­duc­tion style starts to sound a lit­tle thread­bare dur­ing sec­tions that don’t in­volve vo­cal­ists — “Chico’s Rad­i­cal Decade” for in­stance. Luck­ily, th­ese mo­ments are few and far be­tween. (Mem­phis In­dus­tries)

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