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Vinyl LP pressing. 2012 release, the fourth album from the British Indie Pop band. Plumb was recorded throughout 2011 at the band's new studio on the banks of the river Wear in Sunderland. Largely abandoning the classic songwriting conventions embraced on 2010's Measure, Peter and David Brewis remodel the modular, fragmented style of their first two albums, only now it's shot through with the surreal abstractions of 20th-century film music from Bernstein to Willy Wonka and the off-beam Funk and pristine Synth Rock developed on the brothers' School of Language and The Week That Was albums. Plumb digs into the age-old dichotomy between what is reflective or nostalgic and the disorienting immediacy of the outside world.
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Plumb takes a little getting used to. Short tracks with a concept or theme. If you listen with the expectation of stand-out tracks, you may be disappointed. There are a couple, but this album has to be taken as a whole. This is a different listening experience from their previous albums.
In short, I like the album, but I prefer their earlier work. I will say that this is the kind of album that might grow on me with repeated listens.
If you are just getting into Field Music, I'd recommend their previous (Measure) as the place to start. Then pick up the earlier titles and then this one if you have become a "Subscriber".
PLUMB by Field Music is a prog-pop showcase sporting sounds that will remind listeners of bands like Yes, Genesis, XTC, and The Beatles. Nothing on this record is conventional. None of these songs are straight arrows. They zig, zag, swiggle, swoop, bounce, and bop along This is artful music and sound orchestration for smart people with some lyrics thrown in for good measure. Percolating liquids, street sounds, church bells, handclaps, rubbery guitars, rumbling bass lines, earbud-busting tuba toots - the list is long and backed up around the block. Constant Listener's top tracks include 4, 8, and 14 but patient people with open minds who like their songs like seeds (the kind that grow on you) will find a plethora of delights while listening to PLUMB.