The Week That Was
The main figure behind the Week That Was is former Field Music member Peter Brewis. With help from a wide range of musicians including David Brewis and Andrew Moore (making the album a mini-Field Music reunion of sorts), the self-titled debut is a lush and lovely slice of modern pop. The group's sound is no great departure from that of Field Music; it's just as arty, angular, and unfailingly melodic throughout. The main difference is that it's more arranged and complex thanks to the variety of players and instruments. Peter Brewis also seems to have more affinity for prog rock when he's in charge -- check the interlocking marimbas on "It's All Gone Quiet" or the majestic horn/piano arrangements on "Yesterday's Paper." It's less the prog rock of Yes than it is the new wave prog of XTC (though "Scratch the Surface" sounds uncannily like post-Gabriel Genesis). The art never gets too over-indulgent and it never gets in the way of the songs. Which would be hard to do anyway because the melodies are so strong and the hooks are so large. Songs like the bouncy "The Airport Line" and the thunderous and jumpy album opener "Learn to Learn" are as good as anything Field Music ever did. They are filled with brains and musical prowess but also lots of emotion and soul, possibly more than Field Music as a group felt comfortable showing in their songs. A prime example can be found in the naked sentiment and sweeping strings of "Come Home." You can probably chalk that up to having one person running the show and can be glad that Brewis has a steady hand on the helm; never letting that pesky emotion thing get out of control. When Field Music packed it in, fans were left with the melancholy feeling that comes with losing a great band before they had a chance to fully blossom. Now with the Week That Was and David Brewis' School of Language project, there are two excellent bands where there used to be just one.