Field Music | Plumb

Memphis Industries (2012) 
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 27, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

The buzz about Britain's Field Music has been growing for some time. But with their fourth record's level of detail and care packed into 36 ever-fresh minutes of orchestral prog-pop (or you could call it "processed pop" via some strange Soft Machine ELO XTC Flaming Lips trajectory), it's hard to see much room for improvement. Where Plumb finds Field Music able to augment the typical modern rock setup with a vast realm of keyboards (from pulsing pianos to sinister square waves), inventive harmonies, unexpected segues, and tempo/meter variations galore, it also shows brothers David and Peter Brewis able to deliver the requisite killer pop hit. That's something few other experimental acts can claim. Oddly though, the two best examples of their hit-making prowess— "Just Like Everyone Else" and "(I Keep Thinking About) A New Thing" — are lodged smack at the very end of the album. This creates an overly pro and sophisticated— almost "nu-yacht rock" — impression of where Field Music are at right now. Be patient, though, and stay with this one all the way through. It's a killer.
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