m-flo – Square One Review

m-flo Square One Cover

Release Date: March 14, 2012

Track Listing

  1. Sayonara 2012
  2. Perfect Place
  3. Alive
  4. Frozen Space Project
  5. Never Needed You
  6. Oh Baby
  7. Square One Scene 1: Murder He Wrote
  8. Don’t Stop Me Now
  9. All I Want Is You
  10. Acid 02
  11. Call Me
  12. OK I Called
  13. Sure Shot Ricky
  14. RUN
  15. Square One Scene 2: Don’t Blink
  16. So Mama, I’d Love To Catch Up OK?
  17. She’s So (Outta Control)
  18. Yesterday
  19. To Be Continued

Review

After 5 years apart doing solo projects, m-flo has reunited for Square One. This highly anticipated album promised a new m-flo influenced by each member’s experiments during solo outings.

With very little information leading up to this release other than a rather cryptic trailer & a sneak peek from 2NE1, there wasn’t much else regarding what would be on this album and who else (if anyone else) the group would be collaborating with.

So what exactly has become of m-flo on Square One?

Well, this isn’t the same m-flo from Cosmicolor that’s for sure. Gone are many mainstream-sounding dance/pop tracks, and in are harder-sounding Electro, Drum & Bass and Dubstep productions that Taku Takahashi tends to play on his weekly mix show.

Will this turn off many people who may be accustomed to the “loves” version of m-flo? Most certainly. But if you can listen to Capsule, Perfume, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers or any other electronic-based act without slamming down the stop button, you should have no problem with this.

There, of course, will be people who say that m-flo has lost it by going in this direction. Why mess with a good thing if it’s working right? Why not just reform with LISA or go back to doing Hip-Hop if you’re going to name the album Square One?

I think of this as a reinvention of the group for modern times. Are they milking the hell out of whatever the hot club sound is? Well yeah. After 5 years away, you gotta sound somewhat relevant. At least Taku’s been paying attention to the changing musical landscape in their absence. And really, you could see this coming after listening to VERBAL’s Visionair and many of Taku’s recent remixes and such.

The direction they’ve gone in should not be a huge surprise when you think about it. If you decide to venture into this version of m-flo I suggest giving Alive, Don’t Stop Me Now, All I Want Is You and RUN a quick listen.

As I mentioned earlier, this will not satisfy everyone who has had an m-flo craving for the past 5 years. Unlike their past albums, how much you like this will depend on your tolerance for current club music. There probably won’t be a blurred line with Square One. You’ll either love this or hate it.

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Greg is the creator, administrator, editor, code monkey, overlord and general jack of all trades at Selective Hearing. He can be found lurking among the overseas Asian pop fandom and bumming around Japan every year for some reason or another.