m-flo – SQUARE ONE (Review)

J-Pop Reviews


Review by David Cirone


m-flo’s SQUARE ONE is determined to hammer you from all directions, with results ranging from sublime to forgettable. Pressing play on this album is akin to opening up a mad scientist’s laboratory — there are a few treasures (“Alive”), some junk (“Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Sure Shot Ricky”), and piles of unfinished, mis-matched freaks (“A Perfect Place,” simply a mess of an opening track).

There’s a lot of hot air in this album, and you’ll be hitting skip more often than repeat. The schizophrenic “Never Needed You”, dominated by Verbal’s chant “Ya-Ya, Whatever, man…” gets lost in the female refrain. Similarly, “So Mama I’d Love to Catch Up, OK?” starts off strong but drifts its way to the finish line.

The album finds its sweet spot at the mid-point. “Dont Stop Me Now” is a great night-driving track, and “All I want is You” is guaranteed dance floor magic. The dub-step jam “Acid 2” rules the album with its perfectly balanced groove and chorus vocal.

The hit-and-miss pattern of SQUARE ONE was too much for me, and after a few play-throughs, I deleted several tracks — the “dramatic interludes” were the first ones to go. But the one track I can’t live without is “She’s So Outta Control” (feat. 2NE1). Hypnotic and ethereal, the album is worth it just for this.

Buy m-flo – SQUARE ONE at CDJapan

m-flo w/ 2NE1 [Live SPRINGROOVE 2012]