Band Name: The Seldon Plan
Album Name: Making Circles
Best Element: Cohesive flow
Label Name: OTP Records (www.otprecords.com)
Band E-mail: info’theseldonplan.com
I really like it when a band that has the chops to rock out in a passionate way exercises restraint. It shows maturity on their part, usually produces tight, energetic songs, and makes those times in which they rock out that much more exciting. Throughout Making Circles, the Seldon Plan parades out their pulsing, pumping indie-pop side while hinting at the rock hidden within.
The album starts out on a high note with “A Rhyming Dictionary”. Building off the strength of an ear-catching lead guitar riff and some unique drumming patterns, the song blossoms into an enviable pop/rock song by the time the chorus rolls around. The title track follows, and as it is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album, it serves to ensure that the tight drumming, quirky guitaring, and charming melodies weren’t a fluke on “A Rhyming Dictionary”.
The album mellows from the driving rhythms of the first few tracks, settling into a dreamy, comfortable groove that is retained for most of the album. “Love Again”, the best track on the album, is right in the center of the album. It starts off with a 1950’s TV or movie sample about boys and girls, then leads into a breezy, upbeat ditty about a girl who falls in love all the time. The final blow is delivered when the sample returns near the end of the song, proclaiming that girls who sleep with all the boys aren’t really popular. The song flows perfectly- an inspired bit of songwriting.
Flow is very important on this album- the album progressively gets softer until the final track “Chicago 2003” is reached. It starts off very soft, but a lot of the smooth dreaminess that characterized the other tracks is gone, replaced with a more potent feel. Instead of being jilted, as much of the album’s lyrical content mulls over, the lyricist has jilted his lover. “You thought I was the one,” he coos, before unleashing the band on a guitar-and-drums-heavy tirade that rocks harder than anything else on the album. This is where the band really shines- where the tension is finally released and the band just goes for it. It’s a great song, second only to “Love Again” as the best on the album. But it’s great because the rest of the album isn’t exactly like it- it’s what I’ve been waiting for the entire album.
The Seldon Plan knows how to write a strong album. Some of the individual songs along the way don’t really stick out when played out of context of the album, but when listened to as a whole, each song works beautifully. This record would be great on vinyl on a grayish day, hanging out with your girlfriend. It’s a great album- doesn’t push any borders or break any boundaries (if they did, this would be a fantastic album), but it’s a great album nonetheless. Highly recommended.