Circles is the first album from P.O.D since 2015, and even though much time has passed, the San Diego group have ensured that they stay true to their core sound. They're not the first band to make their music a hybrid of rock and hip-hop, but they do it with a Sol Cal swagger. Rockin' With the Best is a rap laden track with an old school P.O.D feel that recalls the Beastie Boys and RHCP. Lyrically they are
inspired by the positive and aim for the glass is half full approach, but they are unafraid to show conflicts too. This is reflected in the wave of dynamics in their music, from smooth electronic grooves to fierce guitar work. Panic Attack is the obvious choice to show the whirling turmoil, and the voice distortion heightens the chaos. In a world flooded with fake news and pejoratives, Listening for the Silence is an eerily contemporary track about how the media and other external influences can have a negative impact on mental health. It's partner track, Dreaming, questions the effect of those influences on the larger world. The track's apocalyptic soundscape casts a cloud over the humanitarian sentiment but makes it makes the middle of the album an irresistible politically and emotionally charged segment. Despite the comfort that the word Home may conjure up, P.O.D flips it for a brutal final track that shows the desperation that can ensure when you are away from your sanctuary.
There are lighter moments on offer though. The title track strives to get out of a negative mindset and Fly Away reaffirms that it's OK to ask for help to carry a load. Attempting to reach people who are on the same level and taking the same life journey: confused, feeling lost and alone trying to figure out their own course in life, Circles could be the self-help guide for the next generation of music fans.
Groupie rating 4/5