Fielding – S/T (CD)

Fielding’s first track on this disc, “The Giant” is so sad. It is not sad in a pitiful way, but rather in its beauty and the extreme care that Fielding puts forth into making this track a work of near-perfection. The incredibly emotional vocals put forth by Eric work well with the plodding bass lines laid down by Aaron and the jangly guitars, to the degree that tracks like “Lampshade” seem to be a perfect middle ground between Soul Asylum and Bright Eyes. Everything, every constituent part of Fielding really contributes to the creation of a catchiness unparalleled; there are distinct sections where different parts of the band predominate, but all are subjugated under the yolk of a cohesive sound. “Big Surprise” pushes Fielding into a realm that is not just emo or alternative rock, but towards pop perfection in general. The track would work equally well as a Blur, Billy Joel or even Pixies track with only a minimum of modification.

The slower tempo of “All You’ll Get” peters off into nothingness, while still lulling listeners into a calm state that makes the follow-up track “OK, Already” that much more impressive. Starting off that track with a synthesizer that pierces into a listener’s psyche, the dual vocals that dominate during the track (Beth and Eric) really put forth a fullness that expounds on the vocals previously heard on earlier tracks. The sleigh bells heard on “Legless” further this fullness, providing a perfect balancing point against the flatter sounds of the piano; the slightly-nasal vocals captured during the track recall Marc Schultz. The simplistic leveling of the guitars up and down the scale make the harder-hitting drum/guitar combination even more intense than normal. Each track on this self-titled album really could be taken from its context and placed on radio; while each track really enlightens listeners to a different facet of the band, the tracks are self-contained entities that would thrive in the competitive world of radio play.

The disc moves into Radiohead territory for “Indigo”, although the sultry vocals captured during the track convey a sense of humanity that Thom Yorke could never bring to bear on an album. Fielding has came out with an impressive album, something made even more salient by the fact that the band has only been around for less than two years. There is no limit to the amount of success that Fielding can have, so buy a copy of this album and be prepared for a stratospheric ride.

Top Tracks: The Giant, All You’ll Get

Rating: 7.0/10

Fielding – S/T / 2005 The Militia Group / http://www.fieldingland.com / http://www.themilitiagroup.com/ Reviewed 05 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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