Steve Shealy posted:
I'm listening to Fields on repeat now. I like it, but the references Paul gives are obvious. Paul, I'm curious to know if you would feel differently if you could hear it in a vacuum; i.e. if you didn't know Left Hand or She Goes On. Difficult now, but if it could stand on its on, what do you think?
Very good question. I think my honest answer would be that I'd still be underwhelmed by it. I've been enjoying listening to the demos and alternate versions of songs that feature ideas in different places. For example, I love Creek Song/Left Hand and Same Language As Me, so I'm not at all averse to stuff appearing in the "wrong place". I also don't mind Neil quoting himself occasionally. As Lavar78 notes: CH-by-numbers is a 100% compliment. An album of these guys going through the motions will still better 90% of the other music around.
In the end, Fields just doesn't float my boat the way many CH songs do. I don't dislike it, I just find it "meh" as they say. Which actually makes it a bit of a rarity. Normally, I either really like CH material (99% of it!) or I really don't. There are only a handful of tracks I'm ambivalent about, and this is one of them.
What surprises me most - hence my original post - is that we actually find the band repeating themselves musically. Ignoring the instances where elements of songs were canibalised for use elsewhere, I can't think of another instance where CH quotes itself musically, which is why I made the point that I can understand why it was nixed - not because it wasn't good enough - but because it seemed to imply that CH were running out of ideas.