Cards on the table, I'm a massive Field Music fan and was looking forward to this LP immensely. I don't think I'd have given it 5 stars after the first listen - it's so overwhelmingly complex that only a few songs stood out. It was only after the third listen (not so difficult as it's a bite sized album) that it all began to make sense and now I'm completely hooked. It's like, forget trying to learn to play Field Music songs, they're such musical innovators you need to learn how to listen to them! There's just no-one else out there doing what these boys are doing at the moment. Brilliant album. Think I saw another review compare it to 2nd side of Abbey Road and it does have the same relentless restless quality, one catchy pop hook after another dispensed with almost careless abandon.
I know you shouldn't really feed the trolls but it's odd that both the 1 star reviews happen mention the Mercury Prize. Feels almost like an ill-concieved smear campaign by some other band's junior PR knob end...because I'm sure the Mercury judging panel pay very close attention to the Amazon customer reviews when they make their selections. To be honest I had no idea that Field Music were in contention and much as I'd love them to get a bit more exposure, one gets the feeling that the Brewis Bros would probably be a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing, especially as they've said they're thinking of going on to some more solo projects after this. And as for the fact they both mention 'repetitive' (!) - this album is anything but. The songs so avowedly avoid the traditional verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure that it's a bit like the first time you listen to Love's 'Forever Changes'; hard to get your head around at first but ultimately richly rewarding.
I don't necessarily know if this record would be the best place to be introduced to Field Music - if someone had never heard of the band before I might instead point them towards the compilation of their two solo LPs Field Music: The Week That Was/School Of Language Still amazingly catchy and complex songwriting but each record has a more cohesive sound with not as many stylistic turns.