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Circulus Clocks Are Like People album cover
3.82 | 25 ratings | 3 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dragon's Dance (3:20)
2. Song Of Our Despair (4:57)
3. Willow Tree (4:56)
4. Wherever She Goes (4:18)
5. Velocity Races (4:03)
6. To The Fields (3:22)
7. Bouree (3:17)
8. This Is The Way (5:34)
9. Reality's A Fantasy (8:22)

Total Time: 42:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Tyack / vocals, guitar, cittern
- Lo Polidoro / vocals
- Oliver Parfitt / keyboards, Moog
- Will Summers / flute, recorder, crumhorn, rauschpfeife
- George Parfitt / bass
- Sam Kelly / drums, vocals
- Victor Hugo / bongos

- Kit Woolven / arrangements, producer

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Gilmour

LP Rise Above Records ‎- RISELP 93 (2006, UK)

CD Rise Above Records ‎- RISECD 93 (2006, UK)

Thanks to Geck0 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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CIRCULUS Clocks Are Like People ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(60%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CIRCULUS Clocks Are Like People reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Blacksword
3 stars I became aware of Circulus on an early evening, prime time culture show on British TV. I was fascinated by their sound, their strangely flippant and shy attitiude, and by the completely stupid way they chose to dress! I'm no expert on 'Prog folk',a tag that I'm sure Circulus would hate as much as the 'Folk Rock' tag applied to them by the non prog world, but this band are ridiculous bordering on brilliant.'Clocks are Like People' their second album oftens fails to capitilise on the bands real strengths, notably their ability to fuse Moog with trad instruments like Crumhorns, but when they do, and they are in full flight, it can be a mindblowing and strangely addictive brew. Refreshing too,but perhaps only to those of us, who seem to have managed to cunningly and skillfully avoid being exposed to much folk music over the years. Perhaps it's now time for a change...?

This album grows on you like fungus with each play. It's beautifully produced; the definition on all instruments coming through crystal clear. The musicianship is impressive too. I would like to hear more female vocals throughout, and also more extended play, but there are some fine moments.

'Dragons Dance' is a quirky opener, which didn't do much for me on first listen, but I think it takes time to get to know what this band is about, and what they are trying to achieve, and the nature of their sense of humour. 'Willow Tree' is among my favourite songs. The moody verses are complimented by the male/female harmonies, and the synthy interludes provide a wonderful contrast to the more trad sounding vocal sections. 'Wherever she goes' is a haunting ballad, with lyrics that make me think of the maypole song from the Wicker Man: 'In the ocean there is an island, and on the island grows an oak, beneath the oak lies a casket'.

'Bouree' is an instrumental, which has great moments when the Crumhorns come in alongside the Moog, although some of the tunes are little too 'chirpy' for my taste. It's a track of great potential, and is evidence of what Circulus are capable of. It should have been longer, a little darker, a little funkier perhaps, but it's coming from a good place. The best track is the closer 'Reality's a Fantasy' Circulus skilfully combine their folk elements with spacious Moog flurries, and a vocal part sung through a two way radio, sounding as if singer Sam Kelly was performing on the Moon and singing his heart out to mission control. This is the track I play to people when I want them to hear Circulus. It's arguably not the most representative track, it just happens to be their most atmospheric and interesting IMO.

I'm awaiting the arrival of their debut, 'The Lick on the tip of an Envelope Yet to be Sent' The reviews on PA seem to favour the debut over 'Clocks are like People' Perhaps it's typical of me to do everything back to front, but I shall post a review of the debut in due course. For now, I'm left wanting to see this band live, and wanting to hear more. 'CALP' is arguably patchy, but the formula is fantastic and I look forward to their next album.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Superficially structured like the CIRCULUS debut, "Clocks are Like People" is a collection of 9 very English folk rock tracks of which the first three are all superb, and the last is admirably ambitious if not entirely successful. Again, it's the in-between parts where the band tends to slip in nondescript or seemingly incomplete ideas, choruses repeating song titles like mantras assigned to nobody, almost as if they hope that inspiration will be imparted magically down the line. By a pixie or a dragon perhaps?

Well, back to the start then. "Dragon's Dance" kicks off with brooding a cappella before more spirited flutes, vocals, and bass accompany this short but accomplished number, that even includes a sweet crumhorn solo. In general, the bass, flutes and synths dominate this album musically, juxtaposing ancient stateliness and the gurgling of industry with surprising success. "Song of Our Despair" is even better, with gentle electric guitar then flute and voice. A few organ washes color the powerful bluesy introduction to the rather disappointing chorus, which is a bit of a recurring theme, as is my complaint about it. Still, some of the synth work here is so imaginative and unnerving that it succeeds in spite of itself. The sheer verve of the electronics overload in such foreign settings is admirable, like a child who flouts authority so creatively one is loathe to criticize. Yes they are often over the top but never irritating. The peak is next, the mystical "Willow Tree", with its brooding verses and emotional vocal performance by Michael Tyack, fat bass lines from George Parfitt, and a swirling keyboard oriented climax. It transcends the subgenres to which it purportedly belongs, like a rock band that discovered Wicca and cast this piece as its first spell.

Unfortunately, "Wherever She Goes" sounds like that rarest of songs, a weak mid period CLANNAD number, right down to Lo Polidoro's vocals, and "Velocity Races" is utterly lacking in spirit. "To the Fields" is also low on energy but is far more wistful and succinct, with Hackett-like acoustic guitar and flute, combined male and female vocals that are almost whispered, and an unhurried melody.

The album closer is the most psychedelic, and atypical for the group, dominated by an addictive rhythm and vocals that sound as though piped through an old CB radio. Through fits and starts the band conveys the dubious nature of reality, rendered more tenuous by whatever they are smoking or otherwise consuming. I've bought in just a little more this time around, and, while this isn't materially better than "The Lick on the Tip", I'm going to round up this time because I'm probably only right twice a day, and that moment is now.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is THE cd of the year! Like a corny 70's sitcom with Richard O'Sullivan when you've just taken a tub of 'shrooms, it made me laugh my arse off and filled me with childish wonder. If you think that songs about dragons, knights and men called Thogdin are beneath you then give it a miss or a ... (read more)

Report this review (#102590) | Posted by roooegg | Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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