Circus vs. Andre Afram Asmar Gawd Bless the Soulless Cowards

Gawd Bless the Soulless Cowards sounds much more professional than anything previously released by Circus, but it's also much softer than the regular sci-fi future funk of the Shapeshifters. Circus is still waxing poetic about current politics ("Bully" and "Holy Blood"), aliens and conspiracy theories ("We Are Not Alone" and "Biblical Proof of UFOs") and b-boy braggadocio ("Army of Fresh"). But, he's also found love, if "Club Lights" and "Sir Romancealot" are any indication. Unfortunately, Circus's regularly manic vocals don't connect so well with the more mellow beats, so he's left to try some styles that just aren't as exciting as his past work. Andre Afram Asmar combines hip-hop beats with electronica, dub and tribal vibes to create some shape-shifting productions that are always entertaining in their evolution. While not really what one would expect from the head of the experimental, lo-fi Shapeshifters, Soulless Cowards is a good album that might be Circus’s most accessible release to date. His next one better be a return to form. (Mush)