Review: Commontime

Field Music’s Commontime is not another typical indie album. While it does have higher toned vocals and a production value lower than a Billboard chart topper, that’s where the similarities with other typical albums end. Commontime is not an album of a just a man and his guitar, nor is it one that layers every instrument known to man into its songs to distract from their mediocrity. Field Music’s unique album tries its hand at a variety of styles and techniques, and then adds a twist of its own to make it fresh. The strong and erratic drumming in Commontime carries the album to its success. Powerful and creative, the albums funky rhythms are never quite in your face, but they make their presence known just the same. The other critical component of the album that makes Commontime work is its vocals. The faintly restrained vocals set the tone of each song perfectly. Commontime is an enjoyable album with ecstatic rhythms and styles that never disappoint.

Commontime is an album that creates a genre of its own. It was very difficult to compare Field Music’s new material with that of other artists. The whole album carries a slight '80s retro edge to it that I couldn’t quite place. It was very entertaining to listen to music that borrows so many qualities and techniques from other artists, that the end product is almost completely unrecognizable from its sources. Although Commontime doesn’t throw everything into its songs to get a fuller sound, it does give a variety of styles and instruments their time in the spotlight. There are blaring trumpets and jazzy saxophone solos in the upbeat track “The Noisy Days Are Over”, funky guitar riffs in both “I’m Glad” and “Don’t You Know What’s Wrong”, and then a full on psychedelic rock solo to finish off “Trouble At The Lights”. During the progression of the album Commontime tests out different synthesizers and string instruments. Commontime uses instruments such as pianos, string sections, and a variety of basses to create an interesting mix of melodies.

Commontime is the funky '80s album that was never released. The album runs with a funk-pop feel that pleases every step of the way. Commontime finds a groove unlike anything else and is enjoyable because of it. Field Music’s Commontime is an excellent album for those who are willing to experiment with something new. The albums subtle harmonies, and exceptionally brilliant rhythms and progressions provide an album that that is sure to please those who take the chance on it.