Calliope - Sounds Like Circles Feel (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Sounds Like Circles Feel (2004)


The first thing I thought of when I listened to this CD is, "Damn, if I smoked pot, this would be a killer record to get stoned to." They're right about the album title too. You can feel the melodies seeping from the CD.

Picture this: soft drums, acoustic guitar, sampling, a bass that carries more of a melody than a bass line, the occasional trumpet, and some killer funk guitar riffs. Think: Beck/Broken Social Scene/The Sea and Cake for a musical comparison. Overall it's really chill, and keeps me attracted to it. Also, this would be an excellent album to throw on when you invite a lady/man over for the evening (Ooh La La!).

The production on this album is nearly flawless. Everything is clean, clear, and simple. Song structures are well orchestrated. These tracks are built around layers and change things up in order to keep the audience interested. It's put together really well to the point of not noticing how well it's put together unless you analyze it. Does that make sense? It does to me...

Best track of the album: "What I Think You Mean," which starts out with funny sounding samples until it builds with bass and a dissonant trumpet harmony chimes in. The song then breaks into the track with the layered line of "What's the big point of making up if all you're going to do is break it up?" while one of the best soft, lazy funk riff chimes in on the guitar, almost as if it were backing vocals. "Sunny 08" sounds like a Beck rip-off from "Odelay," but a really well done one. "By the River" is bright and happy and jazzy. It puts a smile on your face. Great lines include "There won't be a website man/you won't need your cell phone plan" and "We'll build a house up in the trees/and you can have a monkey/we'll teach him songs he'll learn to sing/what a funky little monkey/we won't have to walk that far/because I just built a bamboo car." This song isn't meant to be funny or a joke, it's just that much of a feel good song that it can get away with lines like that.

Calliope presents a solid album. All the songs follow a basic style without getting old or boring, and you will always walk away with a smile on your face.