The Go! Team - Semicircle
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2018 Ratings: #46 / 71
User Score
Based on 54 ratings
2018 Ratings: #52
January 19, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Memphis Industries / Label
Indie Pop / Genres / Website
Your Review


Pretty Much Amazing

Semicircle’s many pleasures — of melody, of tone color, of ideals never losing the beat — deserve an essay’s worth of exposition (no, really).

Northern Transmissions
Shockingly unique but consistent you’ll be entranced throughout the whole record. If you ever wanted to hear The Avalanches with more rock and a style dialed up to the max, this record will keep you hypnotized.
The Observer
The Go! Team’s Semicircle may not be unbroken, but they’re definitely coming back around hard.
The Skinny
Parton’s eclectic tastes remain the beating heart of The Go! Team, but in producing a record genuinely representative of the band’s boisterous live shows, he sounds more revitalised than ever.
God Is in the TV

At its core, Semicircle is a traditional Go! Team record. It’s full of the usual colourful textures that made them so refreshing, mixed with that hint of sadness that often underlies their sound. Hopefully people are open to letting this band back into their lives, because this is 40 minutes of blissful escapism.


That the Go! Team can sound as fresh and inventive on Semicircle as they did when they started is an impressive, almost miraculous, feat that defies nature and defines triumphant joy.


Their maximalist, sunshine-infused, fluorescent-coloured pop hasn’t veered too far away from the formula established on their 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike and new album Semicircle continues their fine run of recent releases.

Parton has managed to create an album that very much sounds like his previous work but expands the emotional canvas he's working with. It is a fantastic little album with exactly the sort of youthful, innocent drive that you just don't get from artists well into middle age.
The Line of Best Fit

While fitting clearly into their back catalogue with samples, glockenspiel and flutes aplenty, Semicircle seems more inspired by 60s soul music than their previous records.


Since they’ve never really been able to top 2004’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike, that means that everything on Semicircle is fun, but not much of it is super fun. It’s kind of like going a field trip; technically you’re not at school, but it’s still school.

Despite this influx of collaborative talent, things sound largely the same on this album, but with a project as reliable as the Go! Team, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Drowned in Sound

After the patchy Rolling Blackouts and uninspiring The Scene Between, Semicircle manages to reconnect the group with the childish creativity that powers their best work.

A.V. Club
It’s a rousing party record, but when the music stops and the lights come on, it all blurs together into a fun but forgettable time.
Under The Radar
Their music works best when left to freewheel across genre and structure. That doesn't always happen here, which is why this fifth outing is merely enjoyable, not up there touching the sublime as Parton and his merry crew have offered before.
After five albums, it’s nostalgic sleight-of-hand for the Go! Team to continually look back on the sounds of the ’60s yet still tune out the underlying noise of that radical decade.
The Independent
Too cool for school, perhaps?
Loud and Quiet
Ultimately ... ‘Semicircle’ is an acquired taste: for all the hints at pop genius, an indiscipline permeates the record, manifesting itself as grating zaniness. “Warning,” the cover should say, “contains nuts”.
If you’re not already a fan of The Go! Team then, despite some of the new ideas on offer, you’re unlikely to be converted by what Ian and co have delivered here. For everyone else, ‘Semicircle’ won’t seem like a giant leap for the band but is yet another upbeat, buoyant addition to their canon, injected with an even greater sense of community spirit.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Despite its many retreads, Semicircle is still occasionally enjoyable, and that it manages to exist without a modicum of urgency or intellectual rigor is okay with me.

Overall, whilst ‘Semicircle' does contain obvious flaws, this chapter of The Go! Team is here to have a good time and hopes you are too. And who can knock them for that?
The 405

Listening to Semicircle can feel a bit like hanging out with that one friend, who always seems blissfully unaware and pathologically optimistic, and just tells you to have a positive mental attitude. To which it’s hard not to react with, “oh, fuck off, will you?”

No Ripcord

The nostalgia lacks anything close to the authenticity that Thunder, Lightning, Strike achieved, and the sound of the 2018 version of The Go! Team struggles to get anywhere far from persistent annoyance.

Jan 23, 2018
Gets off to a great start with highlight Mayday. Never hits that high again. Great fun in places though.
Feb 16, 2018
If nothing else, “Semicircle” is unmistakably The Go! Team, and they score points for sticking to their distinctive aesthetic without trying to completely replicate “Thunder, Lightning, Strike.” It’s a cliché to describe The Go! Team as happy, but I think “infectious” works just as well, and there’s something to be said for a group that truly commits to its bounciness; it’s almost defiant, in a way. The key quality of the best Go! ... read more
Feb 9, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
Quite a happy-go-lucky, silly fun indie record. Problem was…I just didn’t find it much fun. Just felt too light to affect me and dull enough to leave at least a satisfyingly enjoyable impression. It’s not bad necessarily, I guess it’s kinda cute, I just wouldn’t recommend it much really.


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Jan 26, 2018
It has a good old school vibe, you can sing along. All the Way Live is a groovy song and a perfect party number.
Purchasing Semicircle from Amazon helps support Album of the Year.
Track List
  1. Mayday
  2. Chain Link Fence
  3. Semicircle Song
  4. Hey!
  5. The Answer's No - Now What's the Question?
  6. Chico's Radical Decade
  7. All the Way Live
  8. If There's One Thing You Should Know
  9. Tangerine / Satsuma / Clementine
  10. She's Got Guns
  11. Plans Are Like a Dream U Organise
  12. Getting Back Up

Added on: October 11, 2017