The last album review for now, though I’m going to post a book review or two now, so there will be some genuine new content on my blog. That hasn’t happened for a while.
These New Puritans – Field Of Reeds (Infectious Music)
This is different to their last album; These New Puritans make that very clear. You can tell it from the album title, art and track names. Contrast Hidden’s ‘We Want War’ with ‘The Light In Your Name’ and you’ll see what I mean. The band have moved away from booming drums and darkness towards something softer. Not any more accessible or less complex, though.
For an album of this complexity, however, you’d expect more emotional depth than what Field Of Reeds offers. The album is bleak and the prevailing mood is restlessness. Woodwind, piano and strings move erratically in and out of the composition on top of ambient noise. Other than ‘V (Island Song)’ and ‘Organ Eternal’ the tracks don’t seem to go anywhere, just shuffle about.
The album is obtuse, so the question needs to be asked: is there the pay-off to reward a listener’s effort? If you appreciated the enigma of their last album then you’ll enjoy that Field Of Reeds also rewards repeated listens. You’ll have to work for your reward, though, as These New Puritans don’t easily give up their secrets and don’t care if you don’t like it.
Unfortunately I think that most people will just find empty fields. I’ll give it another listen, though; maybe I just don’t get it yet.