Making a New World

Field Music - Making a New World
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2020 Ratings: #463 / 614
User Score
Based on 113 ratings
2020 Ratings: #839
Liked by 2 people
January 10, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Memphis Industries / Label
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It’s safe to say that Making a New World will be a hallmark on Field Music’s repertoire - an retrospective think-piece that is also enthralling to listen to.

The Guardian
Songs segue into each other as war is considered from unusual angles.
The Skinny

Making a New World demands a lot of listens, but the rewards are there for those who make the time to truly engage.

It all forms interlocking musical blocks which when placed together still somehow seem to outline jagged, modernist architectural landscapes.
God Is in the TV

Making A New World is a wonderfully constructed album. It’s subtly uplifting. This is not an angry, romantic or wistful collection of songs; this undertaking could have produced something clichéd. It comes together to probe the effects on relationships between people through nationality, language, gender and situational adaptability.


Making A New World may have started life as a gleam in the eye of a special projects director, but rather than act like temporary caretakers tiptoeing around WWI’s vast, eternally resonant themes, Field Music have sensibly moved in and made them their own. Not a memorial, then, so much as a remix of history.


Like each of their previous releases, Making a New World is an ambitious, original, and exquisitely crafted work, full of rich details and compelling songs that translate the past into modern new shapes.

The Arts Desk

While Making a New World is less clipped and funk-indebted throughout than its predecessor Open Here and more warmly organic sounding than 2012’s Plumb it – notwithstanding the conceptual framework – sums-up the band to date. Fifteen years after their first release, Field Music have fashioned an entry point into their oeuvre.

Q Magazine

By opening up to these surprising echoes, Making a New World resonates with hidden meaning and lost connections.

The Line of Best Fit

Fans of Field Music will be absolutely overjoyed with this set, and of course, fans of '80s art rock will be in their element.

Loud and Quiet
It takes a band well-versed in nuance to pull off a project of this sophistication – which is probably why the museum approached Field Music in the first place.
It's a wonderfully appealing, daring, and intellectual accomplishment that should please anyone looking for notably challenging and smart pop/rock.
Slant Magazine
They’ve clearly studied the music of their predecessors with the same enthusiasm as WWI textbooks, and never has a history lesson sounded so strangely funky.
Under The Radar

The central lyrical concept of the album does fall a bit flat, and the message of the album as a whole comes off muddled. However, the talent shown in these songs is undeniable and Field Music should be commended for aiming so high. Even if the band is slightly off the mark, Making a New World is still a thoughtfully crafted album with an unconventional art-rock style.

The Sydney Morning Herald
With a band known for critical adoration not translating into commercial success, such esoteric subject matter is unlikely to change their fortunes, but it is a typically imaginative and original instalment in their career, nonetheless.
Keeping the raw emotion of a war that killed an estimated 40 million people out of the equation likely helped Field Music get their job done, but a touch more sentiment would have gone a long way toward taking this album beyond its research project roots.
Aside from a few great moments like the warm and accessible track 'Beyond That Of Courtesy', this listen does feel slightly hard to grasp due to its disjointed nature. There are enough ideas in the tank here, but ultimately it's not one to rush out and buy.
The Observer
Such is the ambitious scope of the concept, however, that the individual songs can seem like an afterthought, eclipsed by the weight of all that they’re trying to say.

It's telling that Making a New World began as a sound piece commissioned by the Imperial War Museum — it feels like a project stretched beyond its means. And where it stumbles as a concept record, it only sometimes succeeds as an art-rock record.

Music is the best way to learn about emotions, but the worst way to learn about facts. Without context, which Field Music’s medium can’t provide, you’re left perplexed by the obscure narrative perspectives and wondering why on earth these guys are singing about menstruation.
Unfortunately, as a musical portrayal of the long-lasting echoes of WWI, its ideas are far more interesting than their execution.

Thank you @MikeOwen for the suggestion!! Always appreciated my man!

I guess I didn’t enjoy this as much as some others. While I really like the concept behind the album, I couldn’t see any correlation anywhere (besides maybe a song title or two). I love how each track fades into the next, too. The only thing that irks me so much is the production / mixing. The drums are too fucking loud and overbearing to hear anything else as clearly. All in all, pretty cool concept, but I ... read more
Making a New World is the seventh album of Sunderland-based rock band Field Music, a band that I was not familiar with before the release of this album.

And honestly, for a band seven albums deep into their musical career, I really expected something better than this. To me, Making a New World is as boring as art pop can possibly be. Perhaps the lyrical themes can sometimes be intriguing, but for me this album is perfectly flat. Only a few of the tracks stick out as sonically interesting, ... read more
Nice concept for an album. Unlike some other reviewers, this actually does kinda work for me. Some of these songs remind me a little of the Beatles, who I love. The production is mostly great, yet overbearing in relation to the vocals at times. Some of these tracks are actually pretty good, but for the most part they're are a little boring and repetitive. Very few that are actually bad. Vocals are decent but sometimes they slip up and just don't sound right, like on A Change of Heir.

Favorite ... read more
Is the title supposed to be ironic given how obsessed with the interwar period this album is? Or, given all the attempts at progressiveness and inclusivity do they genuinely believe this is the way forward? Listening to this I am confused and bemused at what exactly they were thinking during the creation process, this album sitting somewhere between Dire Straits and cancel culture, it succeeds in making me groove and cringe simultaneously (and that's just the Dire Straits influence). This is ... read more
The concept is interesting in principle but it is explored so subtly that it is unnoticeable without prior knowledge. Concept aside, the songs barely hold up on their own. There aren't any bad songs, but equally none of real note. The record meanders along without much ebb or flow, leaving the listener unfulfilled by the end.
Favourite track: Coffee or Wine
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Track List

  1. Sound Ranging
  2. Silence
  3. Coffee or Wine
  4. Best Kept Garden
  5. I Thought You Were Something Else
  6. Between Nations
  7. A Change of Heir
  8. Do You Read Me?
  9. From a Dream, Into My Arms
  10. Beyond That of Courtesy
  11. A Shot to the Arm
  12. A Common Language, Pt. 1
  13. A Common Language, Pt. 2
  14. Nikon, Pt. 1
  15. Nikon, Pt. 2
  16. If the Wind Blows Towards the Hospital
  17. Only in a Man's World
  18. Money Is a Memory
  19. An Independent State
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Added on: September 25, 2019