Ten years and five records later, many friends and critics continue to rave over David and Peter Brewis, brothers known as Field Music and I continue to think, "This is really nice, but why can't I remember a single song?"
Then, Prince (of "Purple Rain" fame) tweeted a rave over the opening track of Field Music's new record, "Commontime," and I thought, "Here we go again." But this time, it stuck. (More on that later.)
It's hard to describe Field Music. Labelling sucks anyway. But I think this may have been part of my problem with the band. For ten years, I couldn't quite figure out what I was listening to. Take the opening cut from their album "Plumb." It's called "Start The Day Right."
Is it Yes? Is it ELO? It's definitely fun, but by the time I was done listening to "Plumb," I was exhausted and unsatisfied. So many ideas, so many wonderful melodies, all going by way too quickly to savor. Like being given 15 fabulous meals to eat in less than an hour. It's a lot of swallowing, but not a lot of chewing and tasting.
But it was this track, the one with Prince's stamp of approval, that finally knocked me out. It was a "Song Of The Day" last week. Maybe you missed it.
And the one right after it called, "Disappointed."
There seemed to be a pattern, more focus. Two songs in a row that felt like the same band, which at this point sounded like mid 80's Prince (probably why he liked the tune).
"Commontime" plays out the very same way it begins. There are a few curveballs, like the absolutely gorgeous tune below, but it is the first "Field Music" record that feels like a collection of songs and not simply a collection of ideas.
There is a lot to digest on "Commontime," and I highly recommend something we all used to do back in the glory days. Sit down and listen to it on your stereo. Don't drive, or listen to some of it on your commute, or while you're vacuuming. This is a record, put together by two incredibly talented brothers, who had a vision. I think it needs to be treated thay way for full effect. And I also think that I should have been doing that with their previous albums, but did not. Once I have had enough of "Commontime," I am starting over and paying attention to Field Music's debut. Maybe I will hear what Al Kooper heard in 2005. I'm feeling confident that I will, but I need to pay attention. You should, too.