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“DD Review: The Go! Team – SEMICIRCLE.”

Score: 7.5/10

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Part of me feels like there’s something deeper than a review to do here: about how no American band would put out anything this COMFORTABLE in the year 2018, how it sounds very much the slack-fisted lounger of a nation just freed from the E.U. or whatever [1].
So I’m not judging The Go! Team as an American act, in other words. I’m judging them holistically and the sad truth is that, while Angela Won-Yin Mak’s fun little mid-song raps are certainly charming to an extent, I hardly expected them to resurface here so early and with such prominence. Mind you, in the past The Go! Team have been known to lay down the tight instrumental or two (“Friendship Update”).
So there is a sort of functional critique I’d like to offer of this project, from the way it seems, early on: it’s too much shtick and not enough songwriting.
Well, hey, “Hey” just upped my score of the whole album by half a point — this song is awesome with a jarring blitzkrieg of vocal “Hey” tapes and signature loud, organic Steve Albini drums. In fact, it’s one of the best songs of the year so far right up there with N.E.R.D.’s “Don’t Don’t Do it!” Part of why I like it, as my charming headline above will suggest, is that I’m really sick of conventional structures — it’s almost nothing short of a revelation to hear something that circumvents the sort of regularity we’re forced to trudge through in the likes of Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars. “Hey” gets by on basically no structure, just a bunch of unorganized clamoring, and that’s why we like it so much.
“The Answer’s No – Now What’s the Question,” along with the amazing title, it pretty much just generally a knockout, toggling vaguely between tension and easy glee, again with those Steve Albini drums
What becomes apparent by the time of “If There’s One Thing You Should Know” is that, and this is to the band’s credit, but The Go! Team really have gone with the “party album” mix here and really don’t do too bad at it, other than of course that regrettable “All the Way I Live” rap. But maybe that’s just the American in me — I just really can’t do these English raps.
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[1] By the way I hope England is successful in their economics just because it would shut up all those hapless American dweebs on social media trying to comment on foreign protocol.

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