Circular Sounds

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Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The San Francisco-based singer releases his latest album on the Sub Pop label.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Circular Sounds is altogether smoother than the musician's previous work, but it's far from slick, packed with enough grit (note the slightly off-key horns in 'Everything Begins') and solid songcraft to set itself apart from the retro-rock catalog.
  2. Circular Sounds takes the craft aspect to a higher level. Stoltz’s early records were scrappy, guitar-centric home recordings, and his previous LP, Below the Branches, was a piano-dominated, primary colors affair, but this one is a study in how to blend signifiers and sonorities so that they enhance each other.
  3. While Circular Sounds isn’t quite the modern sound of the American west coast, it feels very much like the classic sound of California: a sound left blissfully alone by the stresses and rigours of a modernity forever on the move.
  4. Under The Radar
    Another intimate, handcrafted gift from a criminally unknown--in his own country, anyway--artist. [Winter 2008, p.84]
  5. Sure, it might be nice if Stoltz could innovate more with his influences, like the Pet Sounds impressionism of Panda Bear's Person Pitch. But flashbacks this vivid are good enough for now.
  6. Circular Sounds can feel impersonal, especially in how Stoltz hopscotches from voice to voice, some far stronger than others.
  7. Except for the admittedly awesome surf-rock instrumental 'Reflecting,' there’s nothing done on Circular Sounds that you can’t find done better on old vinyl, battered mixtapes, and (shudder) Counting Crows albums.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
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  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of