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Field Music - Making A New World CD (album) cover

MAKING A NEW WORLD

Field Music

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 3 ratings

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TCat
4 stars Field Music from the UK was founded in 2004 by brothers Peter and David Brewis. Since that time, they have had several major full-length studio releases, including their album 'Making a New World', released in January of 2020. The work on the songs was begun much earlier and were actually first performed at the Imperial War Museum in Salford and London in January of 2019. This album of 19 tracks deals with the after-effects of World War I, but deals not so much with the war as with life beyond the war, 100 years after in some cases, that somehow tied back to the war.

The tracks are arranged in a chronological order of sorts in a historical sense of when they happened. As the songs range from about 30 seconds up to just over 4 minutes, these are more like musical snapshots, and in these songs is a great variety of well-composed pictures of the world. The music is quite accessible, yet interesting and more challenging than your typical pop/rock music. Yes, there is an 'alt' edge to them, but there is also so much more to them than that. Proof of this is in songs such as 'Between Nations' which is a great example of the non-traditional lyrical and song structure. It doesn't rely so much on the verse-chorus structure even though the songs are melodic. In each song, you hear a great balance of instrumentation with whisps of beauty as the guitar tones in 'A Change of Heir' amid the fair mix of keys, bass, drums and background guitar. It's not all about being serious either, as in the catchy rhythm of 'Do You Read Me?' that takes a pop feel and mixes in some progressive 'unpredictable' moments. The vocals are easy to follow with just the right touch of vulnerability and the harmonies are very interesting. 'Only in a Man's World' has a infectious riff in the bass that will easily get in your head, and this is followed by the funky jangly guitar and stomp rhythm of 'Money is a Memory', then ending with the pensive, piano-led 'An Independent State'. There is plenty of variety here to keep everyone happy. The music is somewhat reminiscent of bands like 'Arcade Fire', except the songs have more distinguishable personality from one track to the other as the duo experiment with tones, percussive textures and such.

The original duo of musicians have through the years shifted around the backing musicians in their band line-ups. In the case of this album, there is some great vocals and piano work by Liz Corney and bassist Andrew Lowther, both who also worked with Field Music on the 'Open Here' album released in 2018. Also, Kev Dosdale, who also worked with the band at times in the past lends help with providing some guitar work. Most of the music on the album is organic with the electronics only being secondary, so the sound of the album is definitely more of a traditional band style, and that really goes a long ways in the natural sound of the music.

The tracks on the album move from one to another, just like moving from one museum exhibit to another, and that is the feeling you get as the album progresses. It's also sort of a trip through the 20th century and how the first world war shaped a lot of the happenings in that century. The alternative edge is apparent through the album, but the artsy feel keeps it all interesting and innovative. For being a museum exhibit project, this is one intriguing and fascinating album, one that never grows stale or boring like some exhibit projects can get. These songs definitely work well without the visuals of the exhibits, they stand on their own quite well, and chances are, you won't even realize you are getting a tour through history. This is one that I think will become more enjoyable as time goes on, and as such, will probably prove its greatness as the year continues. For now, it is a very strong 4-star album, but that might even change with more listens. As for myself, I really enjoy this album and its varied pastiche of styles and colors. It will definitely be on my list of albums to come back to often.

TCat | 4/5 |

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