Published Feb 21, 2017Montreal's Caila Thompson-Hannant — best known as Mozart's Sister — continues to bring her particular brand of exuberant, glistening pop on her latest LP, Field of Love.
The release is more consistent in its sound and feel than 2014's Being, with all eight tracks sticking closer to each other, instead of lurching around a range of drastically different styles. That's both a blessing and a curse: it's more cohesive, but that commitment to something a touch more restrained results in slightly less excitement, too. So while there's very little bad on Field of Love, it doesn't quite elicit a big reaction, either.
On the opener, "Eternally Girl", delicate, almost pizzicato synths give way to a banging pop drop, but just as it starts to build to a peak, it backs down unsatisfyingly. Other tracks don't manage to use their sonic elements to full listener satisfaction simply because there are too many of them: "Plastic Memories" has sounds ranging from a metallic beating to effects borrowed from Skype, but instead of weaving together to form an interesting sonic texture, they sound a little too random, coming and going without apparent purpose.
There's one exception, though: "Bump" manages to pull off the pastiche approach, creating a fractured, multi-movement weird-pop aesthetic that's more interesting and less scattered than other tracks.
Although it might have been her brashness that made Being appealing, Thompson-Hannant's biggest successes here are the more low-key moments that lean towards dream-pop sounds. "Moment 2 Moment" is a cohesive and understated darker pop gem with angelic moments, while "Who Are You" has a gleaming and relaxed tropical backdrop, paired with a flute-like warble from Thompson-Hannant; mid-way, it works up to a bigger pop sound, with delightful vocals that evoke a mellowed-out Mariah Carey.
It's those sorts of original pop moments, in which a wide range of sonic approaches coalesce and meld into whole tracks, that work best on Field of Dreams. Unfortunately, there are a few too many moments with a "more is more" approach, and they hold the record back. (Arbutus)