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Circulus - The Lick on the Tip of an Envelope yet to be Sent

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Artist: Circulus

Album: The Lick on the Tip of an Envelope yet to be Sent

Label: Rise Above

Review date: Aug. 18, 2005

The thespian lunchroom table has rebelliously eschewed summer quarter and decided to spend their daylight hours recreating “period music” at the local Rennaisance Festival. Collectively known as “Circulus,” these peach-fuzzed artistes spill gallons of patchouli oil over candles already burning too brightly. The excesses of Amon Düül II’s Phallus Dei are fully indulged; what results is a superfluous mess of a record that comes across with all the savoir faire of a seat-splitting fart in the midst of a bridal shower tea party.

Sounding at times like a half-baked take on Celtic folk, Circulus err on the oral, filling every conceivable silence with a talky diarrhetic caulk. Every song is a “story,” and vice versa. Instrumentation stays firmly within the idiom, played with devotion by musicians whose common bind apparently consists in owning Braveheart in two formats.

Envelope is musical drivel at its worst. Talented musicians have been able to do something with the materials of “narrative” music; see Rush’s Fly By Night; Caress of Steel, and 2112. But Circulus, who offer the most convincing proof that Rick Wakeman was never cool, shouldn’t even be allowed to pick up after Bytor’s snow dog.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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