Review Summary: Fields isn’t perfect, but it does have a charming personality, perhaps with more time the project can become something more.
“There are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations; the new needs friends.”
The above quote from Ratatouille is remarkably true. Reviewing debut albums is never easy; you have to balance being honest with being kind, you have to realize that the artist is new to the business and most of the time they don’t deserve to be torn apart. On the other hand, avoiding all criticism won’t help anybody. If something’s wrong the artist should know about it.
Thankfully InApril (one man: Kyle Mindemann) sits nicely in the middle, there are plenty of things that need cleaning up but there are also plenty of things to like. “Your Nightmare” exemplifies this with its unfortunately unremarkable vocals and lyrics that Kyle sings over the top of a rambling guitar melody and (eventually) an enjoyable drum beat. The backing instruments ultimately save the song from sinking too far into mediocrity, a feat that’s repeated again a few more times over the course of the EP.
The real highlight here though is Serene Sky, funnily enough one of two instrumental tracks. Really it’s just a series of ideas (different drum patterns and guitar tunes) that ends up working really well. The thumping tom rhythm goes nicely with the picked electric guitar before moving onto a more cymbal based pattern (the guitar changing accordingly). It’s only a short track (just over 2 minutes) but in that time it manages to be exactly what the EP needs, a charming showcase of InApril’s talents.
It’s interesting to note the high quality of the recording, considering this was allegedly recorded just in the guy’s home. The mixing is well done, with everything at appropriate volumes at the very least, and Mindemann’s voice is surprisingly clear. The additional instruments (such as at the end of Highway Sunrise) do unfortunately sound a little forced, really too fake to be anything but annoying. Other than that minor fumble though, the entire thing sounds outstandingly professional.
With time hopefully InApril will improve his lyrics and vocals as they’re the only things really holding him back. His work on the guitar (both acoustic and electric) and drums is strong, but only time will tell if it’s strong enough to support an entire album on its own. Luckily Fields
is charming enough to help get InApril at the very least a decent audience, with enough time and effort his next offering (whether it be LP or EP) should bring him an even greater one.