69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields – Album Review
by Matt Callard
Stephin Merritt had rattled about on the periphery of the New York alternative scene for a decade. There’d been a number of different monikers and bands, a bit of indie cred, a cult following. But nothing predicted this extraordinary, sprawling magnum opus.
Originally conceived as ‘100 Love Songs’, he trimmed it to a ‘mere’ 69 after realising 100 songs would mean over four hours of music.
There’s hardly a genre that doesn’t get the Merritt treatment, from skewed country to pulsing electro to blue-eyed pop to acoustic lo-fi and, incredibly, this triple disc set doesn’t overstay its welcome.
“There’s hardly a genre that doesn’t get the Merritt treatment”
The best songs are luminous, the worst songs are passable and the smattering of novelty efforts are like little pinpricks letting out heavy air.
Even more incredible, 69 Love Songs is un-selfconsciously clever without ever being irritating.
An awesome achievement.