(Memphis Industries)

Rating: NNNN

The Week That Was is the ambitious new project from Field Music drummer Peter Brewis. While Field Music, a trio from Sunderland, England, evoked the Beach Boys’ sunniness and Britpop’s high energy, the Week That Was is a sprawling 12-person band whose songs veer in a thousand exciting directions.

Brewis enlists fellow Field Music mates David Brewis on bass and vocals and Andrew Moore on piano, as well as flautists, cornet players, vibraphonists, violinists and cellists. You’d think this might get messy, but the arrangements are so thoughtful that the result is sweeping and astonishing. Built around Brewis’s syncopated drum patterns, the songs get overly proggy in spots (The Good Life evokes Rush, Learn To Learn XTC), but the gentle vibraphones and lush piano (It’s All Gone Quiet, Come Home) soften the album’s angular edges.

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