Field of Reeds

  • Record Label: PIAS
  • Release Date: Mar 4, 2014

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Jun 27, 2013
    Give yourself over to what’s not only a 21st-century masterpiece, but also something timeless that will resonate whenever you find it.
  2. Jul 25, 2013
    It’s really, really beautiful--beauty as it should be in music: something precious, elusive and exotic, or indeterminate, a little sad and more than a little elegant.
  3. 90
    Quiet, diligent, and touching--this could very well be These New Puritans’ masterwork.
  4. Jun 10, 2013
    This perfectionism, present in the sonics and in the complex arrangements, makes Field of Reeds the most challenging title in their catalog and also the most groundbreaking.
  5. Jun 10, 2013
    Perhaps the great achievement is that, in delivering an album that invites close scrutiny, These New Puritans create an aural haven from the very lifestyle Field of Reeds challenges.
  6. Jun 10, 2013
    The music on Field Of Reeds is certainly not easily accessible but, at its heart, this is a supremely evocative album.
  7. Jun 14, 2013
    While Field of Reeds is a mysterious album in many ways, what it makes clear is Barnett’s faith in the purity of sound, rather than words, to communicate.
  8. Mar 28, 2014
    These New Puritans are still thinking the same off-kilter, rhythmically intricate thoughts, but filtering them through a whole different music making process. Either way, it’s impressive and quite lovely. Nicely done.
  9. 80
    It’s just the right balance of heavy and light tones, a mixture that Barnett & Co. continue to perfect throughout the whole album.
  10. Mojo
    Jul 10, 2013
    Field of Reeds is a startlingly listenable proposition. [Aug 2013, p.92]
  11. The Wire
    Jul 3, 2013
    These New Puritans feel better equipped than most to carry that mantle, a vision of English pastoral music heavy with stoicism and solitude; both steeped in, yet strangely unencumbered by history. [Jun 2013, p.55]
  12. Q Magazine
    Jun 17, 2013
    The results are beautifully muted yet murkily enticing, evoking Robert Wyatt's pastoral-prog reverie Rock Bottom. [Jul 2013, p.111]
  13. Jun 17, 2013
    Field of Reeds may initially come across as inhumanely taut, straining, and indistinct to begin with, but this is the sound of precociousness finally arriving at a purpose.
  14. Uncut
    Jun 10, 2013
    A tough one to make but astonishingly realised, Fields of Reeds is further evidence that they're out there, on their own. [Jul 2013, p.65]
  15. Jun 10, 2013
    For all Barnett's seriousness of purpose, he works with emotion, demonstrated above all in his own voice: never quite in tune, it is poignantly human in its imperfection.
  16. It's that rare thing: an album that will reward repeated listening by drip-feeding you its secrets.
  17. 80
    While it isn’t pretty, cute, comfortable or enlightening music, Field of Reeds is important, resonant, serious and very very clever.
  18. Jun 10, 2013
    A rich, complex album that, similarly, rewards both the grand overview and close attention, and offers up fresh details, insights and emotions with each listen.
  19. Jun 10, 2013
    Ambition often manifests itself into self-indulgence, and from the off you're convinced Field Of Reed could slip into said territory. But it's an exceptional case, where its makers hit the jackpot, where imagination runs riot and gets away with every daring feat, each one more foolish than the previous.
  20. Pinned up and thoroughly artistic, Field of Reeds is affecting, but it’s also hard to get genuinely excited about.
  21. Jan 15, 2014
    Field of Reeds is a record that continues to hint at promise for a still-young band--no, it is not an outright masterpiece, but there’s enough to commend it that suggests that These New Puritans might not be far off.
  22. 70
    Listening to Field of Reeds sometimes feels like taking a test and forgetting everything you thought you studied for. At the same token, its gorgeous production, control, and vision make it hard to turn away from.
  23. Jun 10, 2013
    For TNP converts this will no doubt be regarded as a masterpiece. But for the casual listener, it’s simply another solid 21st century ambient record to help while away the late hours.
  24. 60
    Some of the album’s charms only emerge when you search hard for them, as on the disjointed gloom of ‘The Light In Your Name’ or the dankness of ‘Spiral’, and there are a few ponderous cold spots.
  25. 60
    The Talk Talk of their era.
  26. Jun 10, 2013
    Another challenging but ultimately rewarding listen.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jul 22, 2013
    It's a staggeringly fearless record, one that follows only its own dream logic and dares you to keep up. It really is a field of reeds, andIt's a staggeringly fearless record, one that follows only its own dream logic and dares you to keep up. It really is a field of reeds, and getting lost in it is a disorienting but strangely serene experience. Full Review »
  2. Jun 11, 2013
    I have enjoyed this album as much as it is possible to enjoy an album. With every listen it gets better, I don't know how they do it, butI have enjoyed this album as much as it is possible to enjoy an album. With every listen it gets better, I don't know how they do it, but it's incredible. So F**king moving, but also so f**king confounding This should not be, but it is. 10/10 Full Review »
  3. Jun 11, 2013
    Expectations are only a burden if you allow them to be. When I initially listened to "Hidden" in 2010, I was immediately hypnotized byExpectations are only a burden if you allow them to be. When I initially listened to "Hidden" in 2010, I was immediately hypnotized by "Time-Xone". I was unsure of what I was hearing, which made it enticing. Of course, all of the hype was instigating my curiosity. I wish I would have discovered Hidden unexpectedly. I was astonished by the music, the meaning of the lyrics came later. "Hidden" blew my mind. It was the music I dreamed of creating. My anticipation for "Field of Reeds" has been unbearable, but I can honestly say that TNP have constructed something that I cannot even begin to understand.

    I Listened to the album for the first time last night. Start to finish, on a high-quality tube amp sound system.
    My heart raced, my eyes watered, and my mind quenched for more when it was through. Every song has a deep purpose. There are subtle similarities found within each track that references the others which leads me to believe that there is a possibility of syncing tracks simultaneously. The explanation of the lyrics will come later when the Vinyl is delivered to my house. I have difficulty hearing some of the lyrics, I will need the lyrics that come with the Vinyl to help me follow along track by track. With "Hidden", each layer of lyrics unveiled itself at a very lethargic pace. While the music was furious, and eccentric, the lyrics were a mere whisper. Truth is, the lyrics are the most pro-founding aspect of "Hidden". There were no wasted words, and every phrase down to the syllable count vicariously echoed the meaning of the songs. I was floored by the level of Genius.
    "Field of Reeds" is eloquent, patient, and transcending. "there is something there" The flow of the songs free falls from your brain to your spine. You can feel the music. Body trembling bass notes, unique time signatures, and chill tingling trumpets fill your head, until the album ends and you are left, confused, baffled even. I would recommend this album to none, for discovery of a gem is much more satisfying than another's opinion leading you to it.

    I have now listened to "Field of Reeds" two times through. I have noticed that when the album finishes its course, the faint piano of "The Way I Do" begins to play in my head, almost as if it is beckoning me to listen again. While I can understand that few people have probably experienced this same revelation, the music on this album sticks with you. The quality of this music, is found in the person behind it.
    Full Review »