Field Music’s latest release, Field Music (Measure), meanders through several genres on its 20-track exodus. Unfortunately, the meandering never really finds a clear path or sonic destination. With Field Music’s last release dropping in 2007, Field Music (Measure) feels like a collection of stockpiled b-sides and would be well-served with an editing eye.
There are a few strong tracks on the album; “Measure” has gliding vocals and a jaunty string melody that lodges itself in listeners’ brains, and “Them That Do Nothing” offers up a twist of 90s modern rock informed by British Invasion sensibilities. Generally, there’s quite a bit of 70s classic rock influence, but it’s expressed in slow tempos and anticlimactic execution.
Clashing against the nods to mid-century pop music are the forays into experimental composition. Ambient city noise with orchestral interjection, ill-fitted strings and piano, and gashes of silence pop up throughout the album. Songs like “Measure” successfully blend the two worlds, making the less engaging attempts that much more disappointing.
Much of Field Music (Measure) is interesting, but interesting doesn’t always breed a desire to listen to a track again. There’s enough there to warrant giving their next release a chance, but too much of this album falls flat to merit repeated listens.