Field Music covered a lot of ground in 2006. The trio from Sunderland, England (songwriters Peter and David Brewis and keyboard manipulator Andrew Moore) toured the continent, playing with Belle and Sebastian, Architecture in Helsinki and UK compadres Maximo Park and The Futureheads, performed at both the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and traveled to the US where they were the surprise hit of SXSW. They also invented a dance craze (according to English tabloid The News of the World); etched one side of a 7-inch with a list of things you shouldn't do but probably already have; released a B-sides collection featuring a brief and inaccurate history of pre-Field Music experiments; and somehow found time to record their second album proper. Whereas their eponymous debut was played and executed with care -- dryly produced, ambitiously skewed, multilayered, and engineered to gradually reveal intricacies over repeated listens -- Tones of Town pushes and scratches at the boundaries of their debut, moving in several directions at once, and taking big risks.
It's unpredictable, ridiculously clever, catchy as hell and as perfect a pop album as you're ever likely to hear. 10/10 -- Drowned In Sound, January 22, 2007