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Anthony Phillips — Field Day
(Blueprint BP362CD, 2005, 2CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Field Day Cover art

Four years in the making, Field Day marks Phillips’ return to acoustic guitar work after years of producing library and television work, mostly at the keyboard. The concept is simple: around sixty mostly short instrumental pieces spread across two discs, played on a variety of acoustic guitars (and a few on mandolin, bouzouki, charanga, and cittern as well), occasionally using light studio treatments, and make them all sound like they belong together. The compositions encompass a wide variety within the scope of what Phillips does – faster pieces with clever hooks, emotive and expressive slabs of impressionism, folky melodic approaches, and deeply introspective moments; but unlike some of the early Private Parts and Pieces LPs this is not just a collection of odds and ends all thrown together, but instead a very consistent collection of songs that seem to fit together perfectly. With the exception of tracks 7 and 9 on the first disc, the former which seems to be an acoustic reworking of “Traces” from the Invisible Men album, and the latter a resurrected piece from Back to the Pavillion, these are all new compositions, and certainly offer evidence of Phillips’ growth as a composer over the years. One thing though, these two discs combined are over two hours long, so they are probably best discovered one disc at a time. All said, a welcome return to form for one of this writer’s favorite guitarists.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Anthony Phillips

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