V1 69 Love Songs
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See all 23 tracks on this disc
1999 release, the first of three volumes of this ambitious project that includes a total of 69 love songs spread over three volumes (each disc contains 23 tracks). Magnetic Fields are an Indie/Electropop band led by singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt.
From Stephin Merrit's Gay and Loud publishing comes the first volume of the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, a misleadingly quiet epic of a thing. From the layered feedback of "Don't Fall in Love with Me," followed by the plinky strum of his uke through to a Merrittian 23rd psalm, "The Things We Did," this volume, more than the others, hearkens back to the gloriously distorted acoustic agitation visited on The Charm of the Highway Strip. Ever the sad sack, Merritt's characters "don't believe in the sun" and drolly proclaim themselves "ugly" and the stars so "fucking romantic." Dishing up clichés like ice cream cones at a Baskin-Robbins, Merritt's lyrics take on self-involved weightiness in the context of his over-the-top conventions. Marrying electronic elements with banjo, cello, mandolin, piano, accordian, and percussion, these little numbers--sung by a revolving cast of Merritt and cohorts--riff on everything from punk rock to madrigals to Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash-style balladry, coming across as preposterously vaudevillian and Brechtian, rather than vacuous. --Paige La Grone
Top Customer Reviews
Merritt writes songs for their own sake - for pop's sake. That's fine - Brian Wilson did it, Paul McCartney all but invented it, and it can make for some good music. The problem is that Merritt (who has a great voice, by the way) sounds so detached from the whole affair that it can't possibly be effective. The tracks featuring guest vocalists seem even more vacuous.
I've seen comparasons with Morrissey, and I couldn't disagree more. Morrissey writes songs out of genuine anguish with no regard to traditional pop structure. He writes songs when he has something to say. His songs have a sense of urgency. Merritts songs, perfect as they may be at some points, just sit there.
All in all, I think some great music could be made if Merritt would team up with a producer who could help him filter through his 69 songs, find the 10 good ones, and flesh them out to the point where they sound like songs, not like depressing, sterile, elevator music. Either that, or take the approach to it's other logical extreme.
Most recent customer reviews
then disc one is probably the one to get. The ratio of brilliant to merely good songs is higher, perhaps, than on any other Magnetic Fields CD; favorites include "I Think I... Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2003 by alaska
But this is great stuff. The lyrics are clear, funny and poignant. The melodies are smart and beautiful. Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2003 by twinky buttspong
The first volume of 69 Love Songs is in my opinion the best of the lot, the classic disc. The songs are in a bunch of different styles, but there are all catchy and have something... Read morePublished on May 25 2002 by Anthony Cooper
This is a really great cd from a really great band. It's too bad there aren't more bands like this out there. Read morePublished on March 20 2002
Although this CD is cute, it doesn't get much farther past that. The songs are fun at times, but overall the CD isn't a very strong one. Read morePublished on April 5 2001 by kate
About twelve songs in, I'm thinking to myself, "Yeah, um. Is this going to become more interesting?" It doesn't. To think he wrote 69 of these songs! Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2001 by Joseph Murphy
you should own this album. Sometimes I find myself singing along and I just have to laugh...The lyrics are so funny, yet so darn smart, "Eligible, not too stupid,... Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2000 by Emily