Album Review - Devonte Hynes: Fields

Finlay Holden discusses Devonte Hynes' album 'Fields'

Finlay Holden
28th October 2019
Devonte Hynes has been involved in many projects over the years; from his initial rise to success with Test Icicles to Lightspeed Champion, another solo project Blood Orange putting out 5 LPs and not to mention his many writing and producing credits, Devonte has shown that the very concept of genre holds no restrictions over his talent, working through punk, acoustic pop and electronic funk. 

His latest project, a 13 track collaboration with Grammy Award-winners Third Coast Percussion, delves into the world of classic music. The question is, how does it hold up as a standalone project when compared to the quality of his previous work?

My answer: not very well. The record is certainly an intriguing listen, with the 11-track suite ‘For All It’s Fury’ creating a vast soundscape based on sounds from a synthesiser, triangle and various percussion instruments. The final two tracks have run times of 11 minutes and almost 14 minutes, creating a slow wind down to the record that, for me, felt long winded and painful. The entire album feels like being put on hold for way too long, or music you would ignore in an elevator; not necessarily bad elevator music, but elevator music nonetheless. If this is the style of music you enjoy, then this album will truly be a joy for your ears. Otherwise, it is simply an hour-long blur of noise.

I do wonder who Devonte made this record for and what inspired his transition from Blood Orange to this completely new sound. Whether it will resonate with any fans of his previous work I truly cannot answer, but for me, this release is an interesting experiment that I can essentially guarantee I will never listen to again. This is truly a shame as I am a fan of some of the multi-faceted musician’s work, but this is not a strong example.


(2 / 5)

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