Field Music, “Commontime”
Across five albums (and over a decade of playing together), Field Music have created their own alternate timeline where the sumptuously crafted pop music of the ’70s continued to dominate the airwaves and bands like XTC sold out arenas well into middle age. Oh, what a world! On Commontime, the brothers Brewis double down on this concept by settling into a few more, well, common time signatures alongside their usual pop-funk trappings.
It would have been tempting to continuously play the Steely Dan card throughout, but Commontime has a few other tricks up its sleeve beyond initial earworms “I’m Glad” and “Disappointed.” Melancholy chamber-pop (“The Morning Is Waiting”) and scrupulous art-rock (“They Want You to Remember”) also dot the landscape, while ornate string arrangements and synth embellishments color the edges of the screen throughout. By the time final track “Stay Awake” shimmies into the sunset, the album’s hooks have firmly embedded into your skin and won’t be leaving any time soon.