Making A New World, the latest effort from the Sunderland-based art-rock outfit Field Music, is a concept album which emerged from work the duo completed for the Imperial War Museum, commemorating the end of World War 1. This resulted in a project that is loosely based upon the history of the 20th century, with the first lyrics touching on the experiences of a soldier coming home, and the last telling the story of the civil servant paying the last of Germany’s war reparations. The music itself is mostly slinky art-rock, pinned down with sparkling guitars and crystalline piano. The occasional spidery riff sneaks in to remind us all that this is best defined as alternative, but the majority of tracks sit in a hinterland reminiscent of 70s Bowie. The album is made up of twelve songs with lyrics, and then the seven instrumentals that separate them. However, it’s difficult not to feel that the album (spanning a hefty 19 tracks) couldn’t benefit from a little quality control. The instrumentals are easy on the ears, but ultimately bloat the album somewhat, resulting in a slightly diluted message. The most memorable tracks stand alone from their lyrical content. ‘Coffee or Wine’, the first song proper on the album, is the perfect example of this. With a vocal performance evocative of Metronomy, it’s possessed of some very airy production. Similarly, ‘A Change of Heir’ is a far gentler track, which although stated to be about the surgeon to first perform a gender reassignment operation, can be appreciated just as a perfectly serviceable folk ballad. So, to conclude; Making A New World is an ambitious, but ultimately misjudged concept album, which is a shame, because some of the tracks here belie Field Music’s far greater potential.