ALBUM REVIEW: “Field Music (Measure)” by Field Music

February 17. 2010 | By Liz

Field Music
Field Music (Measure)
[Memphis Industries]

Field Music’s third album Field Music (Measure) has the brothers David and Peter Brewis returning without pianist Andrew Moore, although there’s so much going on rhythmically and otherwise that it’s hard to stop and think about what’s missing. Rooted comfortably on the hippie side of ’60s pop, especially in their feathery vocal harmonies, they update classic rock with a proggy penchant for arresting licks and rhythmic leaps. The songs are stabilized by the innocence of a big-eyed, wondering singing style as all manner of instrumental experimentation occurs, never allowing the brain to guess what might be the next phrase. Field Music can get big and showy like Queen, or groovy and skyward-reaching like Yes, but at the same time they never abandon constant hints of the much more modern.

Hell, they even throw in hints of metal and psychedelia; this is definitely music for the easily bored. “Them That Do Nothing” begins with tripping little acoustic strums before launching into a throwback summer hit, though that is certainly not sustained for long, for soon spastic hiccups of other styles butt in. By the time it suddenly becomes apparent that the following track “Each Time is a New Time” has been going on for some time, the album has already delivered sick guitar jamming, ’90s indie noodling, and druggie soloing. And that’s just the guitars. Sustaining the pacing and momentum without blowing the listener’s mind is Field Music’s talent, besides their clear ability to come up with endless hooks. Elsewhere, “Let’s Write a Book” blends crazy clicking and clapping, funk, and drunken xylophone, while “The Rest is Noise” shines with commanding piano and a Broadway showiness. “Something for everyone” seems like an understatement here.

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