Field Music - commontime
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2016 Ratings: #424 / 764
User Score
Based on 50 ratings
2016 Ratings: #452
February 5, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Memphis Industries / Label
Progressive Pop / Genres
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Loud and Quiet
‘Commontime’ is Field Music’s high-pop album, and they want you to know it.

Field Music have always brought a kind of regional dialect to the rock, pop and, on Commontime more than ever, R&B they so dexterously bend to fit them, and that remains one of their greatest assets.


It’s difficult to criticise a lack of change in direction when the band consistently produces records that are as engrossing and of the quality that this album is. Commontime is evidence that the musical course they have dedicated themselves to continues to offer a multitude of rich pickings.

The Guardian

Commontime isn’t perfect – it’s slightly too long, and could happily have lost a couple of less distinguished tracks – but there’s still more than enough here to suggest that the reason Field Music are critically acclaimed might have less to do with the kind of band they are than the quality of what they do.


The addition of simple pop elements to Commontime and the fact that the Brewis brothers manage to keep cranking out music this intelligent and flat-out fun to listen to without ever having the slightest dip in quality, makes it one of their more interesting and rewarding efforts to date.

Drowned in Sound
These are pop songs; albeit with a great sense of technicality and skill that delegate the average three chord guitar band to Fischer Price territory.
When ‘maturing’ sounds as satisfying as this, it can be welcomed without reservation.

‘Commontime’ is a musical magpie, framing its kitchen sink in a thrillingly eccentric way – not only do the Brewis brothers work outside the mainstream, they’re making music no one on the inside is capable of.

No Ripcord

Sometime during their ten-year run, Field Music miraculously found a way to make the eternally uncool eighties sound relevant.


Alternately slick and herky jerky in its delivery, Commontime, the band's sixth full-length, plays like post-punk Steely Dan—jazzy, elegant, and ultimately satisfying, but not always in the ways you expect or necessarily want.

The 405

There may be simple logic behind the phrase quality over quantity yet here there is clear cohesion and thought.

The Line of Best Fit
Let’s be clear – this is a fine record and if it doesn’t match up to the high standards alluded to above, that’s because Field Music really only sound like Field Music
Under The Radar
There are more than a few high points to be sure, but the record lacks the inventive spark that we've come to expect from Field Music.

'Commontime' channels Field Music's trademark aural signifiers: rich soundscapes, off-kilter time signatures, and intricate instrumental arrangements. It's a consistent album, but the lead single and 'The Morning is Waiting for You' are the highlights.

Consequence of Sound
If you aren’t already a Field Music fan, this might not be the record that drives you to their old material and side projects. It will, however, surely impress you as a display of true art rock smarts.
The Skinny
Over 14 tracks, repetitive funk riffs and chatty, conversationalist lyrics start to wear a little thin, and a lack of diversity makes for such comfortable listening that you risk all-too-comfortably tuning out.
In the end, this is an album with a whimsical construct that fails to extend its ideas and live up to its musical promise.
Worth a listen
The brilliance of this album lies in the sofisticated rhythms and hooks they built while keeping all connected and acessible. The three final songs are astonishing. A very clever record indeed.
Brittish duo Field Music is back with one more record in their already complex discography, and this time, even though the cover artwork and the whole aesthetics of the album would suggest a certain simplicity and stripped-down vision, the tracklisting imply the contrary. There is an undeniable influence from 80s progressive-pop and hints of Peter Gabriel sounds all over. The instrumental section is often pretty complex in structure, but not always are the instruments really clear and vivid in ... read more
This album is more than decent. I love the instrumentation, it appears at the precise moment, however it lacks a bit of diversity when it comes to the first half of the record. The vocals can get old, but I can't really think of other way to make them sound cool and fresh, they are nice, whatsoever. I just wished they had gone out more crazy or experiment more, like in "Trouble at the Lights" and "That's Close Enough for Now". Still, I feel like Field Music has lifted my ... read more
I like this album. It's got a little Steely Dan thing going on. I've never heard any of their other stuff so perhaps that's their main influence.
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#3/PopMatters (Pop)

Track List

  1. The Noisy Days Are Over
  2. Disappointed
  3. But Not for You
  4. I'm Glad
  5. Don’t You Want to Know What's Wrong?
  6. How Should I Know If You've Changed?
  7. Trouble At the Lights
  8. They Want You to Remember
  9. It's a Good Thing
  10. The Morning Is Waiting
  11. Indeed It Is
  12. That's Close Enough for Now
  13. Same Name
  14. Stay Awake
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Added on: October 13, 2015