Field Music

Tones of Town

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AllMusic Review by

There's no hint of a sophomore slump on Field Music's second record, Tones of Town. Maybe the record is less of a thrill because the initial surprise of discovering a new band as melodically rich, inventive and effortlessly hooky as they are has worn off. Now you can be surprised they not only didn't blow it completely, but they pulled off the rare feat of making a more interesting and satisfying follow-up to a classic debut. Less thrilling, perhaps, but more filling. Indeed, the songs are filled with more layers of emotion, arranged more brilliantly and played with even more precision and warmth. It's a less angular sounding album with softer edges and a fuller sound. Softer, but not complacent in any way as the band adds enough left-field sonic trickery (glitchy electronic effects, MOR strings) to keep things very interesting. They also play with a tightly controlled strength that makes the rare moments that they do let loose (like on the chorus of "In Context") seem even more fiery. This is a record made by craftsmen who know exactly what they are doing; there's not a wasted note, stray emotion or duff moment to be found, and the songs (like "A House Is Not a Home," "Working to Work," "Closer at Hand" and "She Can Do What She Wants") are examples of pop music at its best; smart, catchy, bright and full of passion. Tones of Town cements Field Music's place as one of the best pop bands of any kind operating in 2007.

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