Reviewed by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine.
In Review: CIRCLES by Speakea5y is an amazing and energy infused creation of intellectual composition and street smart wisdom, viewing life from the human and the divine perspectives. With a frank, open and mature verbal hang, using a combination of strong language and an ability to create strong visuals in verse, Speakea5y has blended the art of rhyme and philosophy into rap that is straight to the soul and hits with the harshness of the real world.
Musically, CIRCLES is hypnotic, in both sound and composition, this is not just a mess of beats and samples, but an explosion of harmonies and creativity, his vocals flow with the music, his voice becoming another instrument, one that took a lifetime to master and can never be duplicated. Coming to the lyricism, there is a fresh originality, and as mentioned, there is strong language in some of the tracks, but not a overabundance, used only to emphasize his displeasure, otherwise, his writing shows a higher intelligence, literary and well spoken, well read and expansive.
The references to “The System”, “The Machine” and the underlying questions of existence is existential bliss as to it questions our reality, are we the masters of our fate, or are we mastered by the fate imposed upon us.
After five years in development, having sparked two music videos, thousands of plays across different platforms, and dozens of live shows across Miami, the genre-bending Rock / Hip-Hop / R&B artist Speakea5y has released his debut album, Circles, on August 13th, 2019.
Circles is a high-concept Retro-Synth / Trap / R&B fusion that invokes the cosmos to address America’s most pressing issues: racism, sexism, imperialism, and war. The album is a sprawling, ambitious, profound celebration of how the cosmos that contain us are also, by beautiful painful paradox, contained within us.
Speakea5y’s vision to use our solar system as a metaphor for incisive social commentary and unapologetic revolutionary messaging primes him as a true voice of the Millennial generation – with an activism rooted in an inability to ignore his environment or the toxic patterns that drive us.
He describes the systemic issues in our everyday lives that prevent us from reaching our maximum potential. Yet rather than stand on a soapbox and preach about society’s ills, Speakea5y’s provocative lyrics offer a path to unify us beyond our petty differences and recognize our common systemic enemy. As the 7-tracks of Circles take us from the sun through the darkness beyond Mars, the album’s circular structure and its upward attention to the cyclicality of life and nature elevates the listener’s focus to the stars as a symbol of political awakening, social consciousness, and an understanding of one’s place in the cycles that shape our lives.
Speakea5y’s intention is to follow up with a second volume that takes us to the outer planets to create the fully realized concept work called Circles II.
The premise is built on the reality that the gravity of our sun seems inescapable upon first examination, but there is one thing that breaks free effortlessly: light. The artist finds it compelling that our greatest source of life-giving light and energy is the same source of our restrictive gravity. “I thought that was a meaningful dichotomy to explore,” he says. “The purpose of the album is to open the eyes of the listener to the systems they overlook or take for granted: income inequality, crony capitalism, sexism, racism, religious zealotry and war, to name a few”. Circles encourages the audience to be the light that escapes the gravity of those systems, and to carry that light into the dark unknown.
Though Speakea5y has developed a rep as a producer for emerging R&B/hip hop artists (including the R&B duo BluLine, which makes an appearance on the album and Drea Real. Circles is his most raw and impactful work yet – designed to drive his listeners to action.
“I’ve been working on this album for almost five years now,” he says. “In order to get to these seven songs I must have written hundreds – but these seven came together in their current form only over the last six months. They’re the most accurate representation of my artistry at this point. I’ve never made music before that had a purpose like this,” Speakea5y says. “In the past, I created tracks for therapy or for friends to enjoy vibing to. I didn’t have this kind of mission, drive or intention. With Circles, I feel like I found my superpower.”
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