JUNIP - Fields - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

JUNIP - Fields

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7.5 Release Date:2010-09-20

Who remembers Jose Gonzalez? His music (albeit a cover) featured in an advertising campaign and his album Veneer was critically acclaimed back in 2005. Now he's back with his original band giving his hypnotic guitar playing a little more wallop and oomph.

Fields is an album which feels a bit stagnant on first listen, like somebody has intentionally tried to beef up Jose's sound, but in truth Junip were in existence long before and this is the original sound the guitarist wanted to be a part of. With that in mind, the songs are beefed up and if you can put past successes out of your mind then there is much to appreciate. Opener 'In Every Direction' and 'Rope & Summit' both hit on the hooks and play heavily on choruses.

Some songs are plain sailing here and for those looking for something experimental will be disappointed. However, there are times where the storm hits and there are some really interesting pieces of guitar progression. In terms of comparison, they are most similar to Broken Bells but without so much bleeping and whirring. The sound is consistent but the album is the perfect length to avoid it becoming dull and annoying. Instead, you find there is an excellent pleasure in being intrigued rather than constantly flushed by either joyous or melancholy emotions.

If you have sponge-like approach for musical appreciation then prepare to soak Junip up; they take a little time to ingratiate their sound, but they don't always put subtlety before a catchy melody which makes every song interesting a very listenable. Purists might argue that the delicate beauty Jose created on his solo albums has been unnecessarily tarnished, but then you can't please everyone can you?

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