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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Flawless Pop Album!!
As a reviewer, one of the most difficult things to do is review an album that you're entirely infatuated with. It would be easy to rant on and on about how great an album is without pointing out it's flaws or shortcomings. And here I find myself with Field Music's newest release. I am not familiar with their previous work, so I'm beginning with a fresh slate here...
Published on February 14, 2007 by Cale E. Reneau

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0 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is terrible
I was so disappointed. Horrible. Not even what I would consider music and these people are not musicians. I have listened to it over and over hoping I am missing something, but I am not. It sucks. It sounds like some friends got together and decided to make an album and did so in one night. I wish I could get my money back. The other reveiws that were written were...
Published on July 18, 2007 by T. King


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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Flawless Pop Album!!, February 14, 2007
By 
Cale E. Reneau "Mound of Wires" (Conroe, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
As a reviewer, one of the most difficult things to do is review an album that you're entirely infatuated with. It would be easy to rant on and on about how great an album is without pointing out it's flaws or shortcomings. And here I find myself with Field Music's newest release. I am not familiar with their previous work, so I'm beginning with a fresh slate here. However, I cannot get over the greatness of "Tones of Town." In many ways, it is a perfect album, stringing together 11 solid pop songs effortlessly, and completely enthralling me in the process.

Why would I call it perfect? Because these songs are all really great, and there's really not one song that I could do away with on the album. Whether it's the heavy guitars of "Give It Lose It Take It," the playful melodies of "A House is Not a Home," or the haunting harmonies of "Kingston," there's not a moment on this album that fails to impress. Every song is rich with complexty without foregoing a steady, upbeat pop feel. Take "Tones of Town," for example, a song that merrily floats along in the beginning but eventually erupts with distorted guitars and vocals, only to melt away into a friendly bopping guitar solo before it's over. Field Music is a very talented group, but unlike so many other talented bands, they're immediately accessible. They're not going to beat you over the head with complex riffs, and mind-boggling melodies. The mere fact that they can fully display their vast talents while still being fun is awesome.

In "Working to Work," the singer nonchalantly notes, "Leisure is useless when you find that nothing ain't easy when you're working to work" over a steady guitar and drum beat. It's a great song, and one that you'll probably find yourself singing along to after just a few listens. Then there's "A Gap Has Appeared" a song that opens with the delicate flutters of piano and violin before sounding like a collaboration of Queen and The New pornographers. It runs head-on into the undeniably catchy "Closer at Hand" where the singer states, "The questions we tend to ask are useless if time is too fast."

It's very difficult to convey the awesomeness of "Tones of Town" to someone who is not familiar with Field Music. Their music has a very timeless feel to it, and as I've already stated numerous times, it's pretty flawless. It's only real downside is it's brevity, clocking in at just over 30 minutes. But during that time you're almost guaranteed to smile, sing, dance, or some other carefree activity. Fans of bands like The Shins should have very little trouble liking this album as it's not too different from that bands better moments. While 2007 has already begun to show it's great selection of music, "Tones of Town" is definitely the most solid and enjoyable album to release thus far this year. You absolutely have to listen to it!

Recommended for fans of Field Music, The Shins, The Hidden Cameras, and anyone who wants to hear what will probably be one of the top five albums of 2007.

Key Tracks:

1. "Sit Tight"

2. "A House is Not a Home"

3. "Working to Work"

4. "Closer at Hand"

5. "Place Yourself"

9 out of 10 Stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in every way, December 12, 2007
By 
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
Normally, I would be outraged to buy a CD and find that it's only 31 minutes long. It would be like buying an LP with sound on only one side. But in this case, I don't give the length a second thought. Each individual song here is richer than any full hour-long CD by most bands, and at the end of 31 minutes your head is reeling with how far you've come.

The remarkable thing is how nothing in any song goes where you expect it to go. The melodies flow along for a time and then go skittering off down some alley, only to dart into a doorway you didn't realize was there, and the song structures are just as unpredictable, shifting tempo, harmonic framework, and feel three or four times within a 3-minute song (trust me, there's no way the 30-second clips here can even begin to suggest what's going on with these songs). Yet you never get the sense that these guys are doing it to show off how tricky they can be; there's not a nerdy atom in the recording. It's more like they're simply following the song where it wants to go. And when you hear them do it, you realize how virtually every other band around is, to one degree or another, taking the song where they think you want it to go, or where they think tradition or image or the market wants it to go. Even bands that aim at breaking new ground aim at it. These guys break new ground by getting out of the way--they hatch the song and then let it discover the world on its own. But they never put a foot wrong. Even as each moment on the CD seems spontaneously discovered, each note seems to have been carefully considered and specifically chosen for maximum impact. I know that sounds contradictory, and ordinarily the two ideas are mutually exclusive, but somehow Field Music manages to pull it off, and that's a large part of the fascination in this recording. It's like watching a fire in the fireplace--always shifting yet always coherent.

These guys don't seem to be beholden to anyone. A comparison with XTC seems appropriate, but only because they share a fresh sensibility toward pop music (and XTC is much more deliberate in their explorations), and they remind me of NRBQ in their carelessness about convention and spontaneity (although without the deliberate anarchy), but Field Music isn't trying to sound like anyone. It is enormously encouraging to find that in this age when the music business is like factory farming something this original can still sprout. If you have even a slight affection for pop music, buy this CD.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars XTC and Yes meet Ben Folds, Hall and Oates - sort of, February 28, 2009
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
An excellent collection of songs about relationships, but not the boy-meets-girl kind. Think: "How do we relate to the world?" and ponder the song titles on this UK act's sophomore effort. "A House is not a Home," "Place Yourself," "Working to Work." And if you want a new spin on progrock, note the decidedly progressive "Give It Lose It Take It," a song that unfolds like the mating of Ben Folds and Yes. (Gross! Don't picture it. Imagine it in your ears!) Fun orchestration and tasteful strings over quirky rhythmic piano create a great indie-rock soundscape.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing, Flawless Pop Album!!, February 14, 2007
By 
Cale E. Reneau "Mound of Wires" (Conroe, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
As a reviewer, one of the most difficult things to do is review an album that you're entirely infatuated with. It would be easy to rant on and on about how great an album is without pointing out it's flaws or shortcomings. And here I find myself with Field Music's newest release. I am not familiar with their previous work, so I'm beginning with a fresh slate here. However, I cannot get over the greatness of "Tones of Town." In many ways, it is a perfect album, stringing together 11 solid pop songs effortlessly, and completely enthralling me in the process.

Why would I call it perfect? Because these songs are all really great, and there's really not one song that I could do away with on the album. Whether it's the heavy guitars of "Give It Lose It Take It," the playful melodies of "A House is Not a Home," or the haunting harmonies of "Kingston," there's not a moment on this album that fails to impress. Every song is rich with complexty without foregoing a steady, upbeat pop feel. Take "Tones of Town," for example, a song that merrily floats along in the beginning but eventually erupts with distorted guitars and vocals, only to melt away into a friendly bopping guitar solo before it's over. Field Music is a very talented group, but unlike so many other talented bands, they're immediately accessible. They're not going to beat you over the head with complex riffs, and mind-boggling melodies. The mere fact that they can fully display their vast talents while still being fun is awesome.

In "Working to Work," the singer nonchalantly notes, "Leisure is useless when you find that nothing ain't easy when you're working to work" over a steady guitar and drum beat. It's a great song, and one that you'll probably find yourself singing along to after just a few listens. Then there's "A Gap Has Appeared" a song that opens with the delicate flutters of piano and violin before sounding like a collaboration of Queen and The New pornographers. It runs head-on into the undeniably catchy "Closer at Hand" where the singer states, "The questions we tend to ask are useless if time is too fast."

It's very difficult to convey the awesomeness of "Tones of Town" to someone who is not familiar with Field Music. Their music has a very timeless feel to it, and as I've already stated numerous times, it's pretty flawless. It's only real downside is it's brevity, clocking in at just over 30 minutes. But during that time you're almost guaranteed to smile, sing, dance, or some other carefree activity. Fans of bands like The Shins should have very little trouble liking this album as it's not too different from that bands better moments. While 2007 has already begun to show it's great selection of music, "Tones of Town" is definitely the most solid and enjoyable album to release thus far this year. You absolutely have to listen to it!

Recommended for fans of Field Music, The Shins, The Hidden Cameras, and anyone who wants to hear what will probably be one of the top five albums of 2007.

Key Tracks:

1. "Sit Tight"

2. "A House is Not a Home"

3. "Working to Work"

4. "Closer at Hand"

5. "Place Yourself"

9 out of 10 Stars
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pristine pop, March 12, 2007
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
Field Music is one of the most underrated Britpop bands since... well, one of the most underrated Britpop bands ever. Their self-titled album last year was one of the musical highlights.

And in "Tones of Town," the Sunderland band manages to top their debut, with a nearly flawless collection of catchy, warm, colourful pop music, cobbled out of squiggly synth, drums and angular guitars. Everything is tighter, more polished, and more musically adept.

It opens with what sounds like a restaurant -- dishes clattering, voices conversing, general hubbub. As that dies away, a chiming melodiy grows louder and louder, with some bouncy, gritty electric guitars joining in.

And it blossoms into "Give It Lose It Take It," a peppy, sunny confection made of squiggly synth, angular guitars and the occasional wave of strings. "Give it away/Nothing's worth keeping that you can't say/Lose it, strip yourself down/Its giving away can always be found/All that you have is all that you need to be!" Peter and David Brewis croon.

They follow that with the rich, beatboxy pop of "Sit Tight" and the swirling tambourine-guitar pop of the title track. What comes after it is a string of deliciously endearing pop tunes -- sprightly pianopop riddled with violin and guitar, mellow ballads, funky guitarpop, synth-riddled rockers, and other layered tunes that will surely have you bouncing in your chair.

Whatever was good about Field Music's music in their first album is multiplied in this one -- the lyrics, the music, and the general feel have all gotten better. The music was fun guitarpop with some flourishes before, but now it's made up of dense little packages of catchy pop, woven together out of outstanding instrumentation.

But despite the deliciousness of the music, there's a vague feeling of discontent in these lyrics. The Brewis Brothers don't complain outright -- they're too bright to try the "poor li'l me" approach -- but their lyrics feel as if they yearn for something more, and don't know what it is exactly.

It's a direct counterpoint to the music, which is a sparkling collection of very tight, very polished little pop tunes. The angular little guitar riffs are wrapped in plenty of squiggly, sunny keyboard (courtesy of Andrew Moore), an occasional tambourine shake, lots of rippling piano, and some rapid-fire drums that add a rock edge to the sunny pop.

And Brewis does a good job balancing between the sunny music and wistful lyrics. His voice is strong and smooth, and he can murmur out those songs without sounding depressing. "Oh and you're a long way from home/All of the thoughts you had were not your own/Even the time you came was somebody else's time/But you're alive between the lines..."

Field Music churn out a brilliant second album in "Tones of Town," with its wistful songwriting and beautifully complex pop melodies. Absolutely a must-listen... and who knows what they'll come up with next?
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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing indie pop from Northern England!!!!!!!!!!!!!, June 28, 2007
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
After hearing lots of good things and reading some great reviews, I saw this band play with Menomena at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. I bought the CD without blinking. This band is GREAT British indie pop / rock / post-punk from Northern England...in the same fashion as the Futureheads, Maximo Park, and the Long Blondes. However, they do not sound like any of those bands. They definitely have their own unique sound.

There are over four or five songs on this CD that I have stuck in my head all the time: Tones of Town, A House is Not a Home, Working to Work, In Context, etc. I played this CD for my parents (who are in their 60s) and they said it sounded like the Beatles with a little Steely Dan influence. I think that is an apt description but I would say there is more an influence from THE JAM than Steely Dan. Either way, you cannot go wrong with this album (or their first one!). It is really a shame they do not plan on touring anymore or writing new Field Music albums!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, April 4, 2007
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
This album is just excellent with beautiful production, great songs with great pop flavors. A great record to satisfy a sophisticated musical pallet.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beyond underrated, April 17, 2007
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
I can't believe there are only two reviews for this album thus far.

I don't hear anyone talking about Field Music right now, which is a shame.

This is the kind of music that discourages me to start my own band, because I can't ever imagine making music this perfect.
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0 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is terrible, July 18, 2007
This review is from: Tones of Town (Audio CD)
I was so disappointed. Horrible. Not even what I would consider music and these people are not musicians. I have listened to it over and over hoping I am missing something, but I am not. It sucks. It sounds like some friends got together and decided to make an album and did so in one night. I wish I could get my money back. The other reveiws that were written were very misleading. I bought this piece of crap because of all the five-star rave reveiws. I will not be so gulible next time.

By the way, I love groups The Shins, Arctic Monkeys, Decemberists, Beck, etc. if this helps anyone.
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Tones of Town
Tones of Town by Field Music (Audio CD - 2007)
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