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Field Music: Measure

by on August 11, 2010


So many bands have been trying to cram multiple ideas into one song that they can sound either disjointed, confusing, annoying, or great (i.e. Congratulations-MGMT). Field Music has taken this concept and made an album that’s progressive, yet accessible to almost everyone. This is Measure, a two-disc collection of songs. Some are weird, and some are great, but isn’t that what makes Field Music who they are?

After their “hiatus”, nobody was quite sure what to expect when the Brewis brothers announced that they would be releasing another album with Field Music. Typically an art-rock/progressive band Measure sticks to the formula. Frantically changing chords, driving bass and songs switching sections without warning. But there is something so user-friendly and radio-friendly about Measure that makes it only more great.

The album’s opener, “Measure”, opens with droning guitar and ends with extreme tension. Quite proggy. But it leads into one of the pop gems of the album, “Them That Do Nothing”. Despite its odd time signature and interesting chords, the handclaps, crystal arpeggios and fun lyrics keep the listener interested. This trend continues throughout disc one. There are strings and lydian-modes galore (i.e. “Effortlessly) that drive this disc. To put it simply, disc one is full of fun, driving songs that will pull the listener in. Disc two, however, is a little different.

“The Rest is Noise” is a perfect start to disc two for one reason. Piano. With the extremely minimal piano on disc one, disc two in stark contrast with its piano-centric songs. Whether it be arpeggios are just one note, the piano is always loud in the mix. This disc is also much more spacey than disc one. It has more floating harmonies and instruments that start and stop at random. It is much more relaxed, as in “Curves of the Needle”. While there are a few pop/rock songs (“Something Familiar”, “The Wheels are in Place”), disc two is not nearly as accessible (there goes that word again) as disc one is.

Despite its progressive nature, Measure flows extremely well. Each song leads into the next flawlessly, which makes the album a fun listen all the way through – even though it is twenty songs. This is a must listen for every fan of indie, pop, and art rock. It is just a great album. We can only hope that the Brewis brothers are working on another album soon!


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