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Circus Hero (Bonus Version)

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Album Review

Former Police guitarist Andy Summers is no stranger to collaborations, and has paired himself with a bevy of intriguing artists (Robert Fripp, Bill Evans, Fernanda Takai) over the course of his 12 studio albums. Jazz, fusion, avant-garde, and tropicalia have all been explored by this prolific guitar hero, but the one thing he hasn't done since the Police's 1986 breakup is form a legitimate rock band. Working with Rob Giles of L.A. super-songwriter combo the Rescues in what turned out to be a full-on band project, Summers revisits the punchy pop/rock style that made the Police one of the biggest and most influential acts of the 1980s. Perhaps inspired by the Police's 2007 reunion tour, he recruited Giles after hearing him at a 2013 Rescues gig and the two began writing songs together in Summers' Venice, California studio. The result is a punchy, tight, and melodic rock album with strong vocals from Giles (who also handled the bass and drums) containing some of Summers' most memorable and straightforwardly hooky guitar playing in years. That Circa Zero slightly resemble the Police at times is no surprise. In interviews they haven't shied away from that influence and even Giles' vocal style and timbre echo that of Sting's on a few of the album's 13 songs. But it's nice to hear this kind of articulate and progressive power pop being played in a musical landscape otherwise littered with large chamber folk ensembles and over-processed electro-pop acts. Songs like "Levitation" and "The Story Ends Here" are finely crafted pop tunes with big soaring choruses and nice lean arrangements. "Gamma Ray" and "Summer Lies" lean a little too hard on mid-'80s power trio pseudo-balladry, and some of the album's later cuts like "No Highway" and "Light the Fuse & Run," for all their rock muscle, sound a bit like well-meant but slightly uninspired prog pop. Still, taken as a whole, Circa Zero do the trick of pairing Andy Summers with an able singer/songwriter partner in a rock trio setting he hasn't visited in quite a while. The results are encouraging and ultimately listenable. [Circus Hero was also released on vinyl.]

Customer Reviews


It's like The Police & U2 had a love child in the late 80's, and it finally grew up to make music. I love this!

It felt both familiar and new all at the same time without feeling like it was just a rehash of the same classic songs. Impressive and obviously a true melding of talents!


You dont hear music like this that often. Great music from beginning to end! Give it a chance you wont be dissapointed!

Great Rock Album

It’s as if Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet adopted a baby boy and gave that kid a guitar. The kid then changed his name to Andy Summers.

Why do I say that? Summers paints so many colors, tones, vibes, moods, styles and sounds with his guitars that he had to raised by master painters. He can rock hard or play it subtle. You can hear it all in this album. It’s hard to believe that only one guitar player is playing here.

And Rob Giles is one talented mother. Where has he been all these years? He can sing, play bass and drums. Are you kidding me?

There are several excellent songs here. You can play it from start to finish. After one day my standouts are Levitation, Underground, Say Goodnight, Night Time Travelers, Hot Camel and Whenever You Hear The Rain which is a really beautiful song. I think on Rain, Summers took his famous Every Breath You Take guitar part and created a mirror image/cousin that’s better than the original!

This is one of the most exciting rock bands to debut in many years. Let’s hope they go on tour. I must hear them play live.

BTW, I wish these downloads would include the lyrics and liner notes.


Formed: 2013 in Venice, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '10s

Formed in 2013, Circa Zero is the project of legendary Police guitarist Andy Summers and singer/songwriter Rob Giles from the Rescues. The two musicians met after Summers attended a Rescues concert in L.A. and invited Giles over to his Venice studio to jam. Pleased by the results, the two began writing songs together with Summers on guitar and Giles covering vocals, bass, and drums. The punchy, streamlined rock songs that resulted from these sessions take cues from both artists' former bands while...
Full Bio
Circus Hero (Bonus Version), Circa Zero
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Customer Ratings