The Go! Team - Semicircle
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2018 Ratings: #511 / 746
User Score
Based on 101 ratings
2018 Ratings: #757
January 19, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Memphis Industries / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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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.
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?

Press play on ‘Semicircle’, and it’s clear the party is still going even after 14 years.

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.

Gets off to a great start with highlight Mayday. Never hits that high again. Great fun in places though.
Top 3:
Chain Link Fence
Plans Are Like a Dream U Organise
Getting Back Up
Mayday 88
Chain Link Fence 90
Semicircle Song 86
Hey 83
The Answer's No, Now What's the Question 85
Chico's Radical Decade 88
All The Way Life 93
If There's One Thing You Should Know 89
Tangerine/Satsuma/Clementine 85
She's Got Guns 93
Plans Are Like a Dream U Organise 88
Getting Back Up 91

Top 5:

5. If There's One Thing You Should Know
4. Chain Link Fence
3. Getting Back Up
2. All The Way Life
1. She's Got Guns
The debut album of The Go! Team, "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" released in 2004, is a great album, which its ecletic sound has electronica, rock, hip hop, pop and a lot of other stuff. Thereby, their new album "Semicircle" still follows that same working formula of the debut, but unfortunately the album gets quickly repetitive and bland.

Favs: Semicircle Song, Hey! and If There's One Thing You Should Know.
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Year End Lists

#97/Rough Trade

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
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Added on: October 11, 2017