Tones of Town, the sophomore release from Sunderland, England trio Field Music, bears all the trappings of a perfect pop pleasure. Its melodies heavily reference the Beach Boys' vocalizing, its light soundscape brims with dolled-up synths and strings, and its lyrical subtext aims for a breezy commentary on the curiosities of modern life.
In their attempt at incorporating the grace of Belle and Sebastian with the colorful flair of the New Pornographers, Field Music almost seems incapable of crafting unwelcoming numbers. But this impulse to swiftly please should be eyed with skepticism, as it can make for sounds that are excessively approachable, familiar and go down with too much ease. This is at the heart of the underlying miscalculation of Tones of Town. It presents us with handsome treats that remain too undercooked to ever break out of their sugary fa?