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V1 69 Love Songs

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00000JY74
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,549 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Absolutely Cuckoo
2. I Don't Believe In The Sun
3. All My Little Words
4. A Chicken WIth Its Head Cut Off
5. Reno Dakota
6. I Don't Want To Get Over You
7. Come Back From San Francisco
8. The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side
9. Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits
10. The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be
11. I Think I Need A New Heart
12. The Book Of Love
13. Fido, Your Leash Is Too Long
14. How Fucking Romantic
15. The One You Really Love
16. Punk Love
17. Parades Go By
18. Boa Constrictor
19. A Pretty Girl Is Like...
20. My Sentimental Melody
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I disagree with the past few reviewers who say that this is bland, boring and so-called "rock-critic rock." I had never really listened to any of their older recordings, but when I heard this one, I was instantly sold. True, the production is gritty at times, but if you want flashy, splashy bubblegum pop, go buy a Britney Spears or NSync CD. I'll take Magnetic Fields anyday. The term "rock-critic rock" seems to me to indicate to me one listener's disdain for intelligent, witty lyricism. He says that Merritt's delivery has no heart or soul. Once, again, I disagree. Upon first listen, I was awe-struck by the seemingly simple, yet intricately penned lyrics. Very clever, true. And who says cleverness is a bad thing? Have Limp Bizkit and Korn lowered our standards so much? Merrit's delivery is sublime. I wouldn't hear such wonderful lyrics presented any other way. These songs are at times whimsical and silly, at times wry (but never bitter), at times touching and heartfelt, and often a combination of all three. Never for a moment did I get the impression that they were not "felt." If anything, they are overflowing with emotions so layered and complex that upon first listen, it can be hard to process them emotionally. Personally, I like music that's challenging. It always rewards more with each subsequent listen. Such is this album. In a world of musical choices that seem to gravitate toward either pristine teenybopper mush and tiresome, pre-packaged rebellious moron-rock, Stephen Merrit's lonesome croon is a welecome voice. Fans of Yo La tengo, Pavement and the like, take note: this is YOUR music. Just LISTEN.
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By Daniel Marcus on Sept. 19 2000
Format: Audio CD
Stephin Merritt has an uncanny ability to write very clever lyrics. His problem lies in his usage of said lyrics and his delivery. Merritt is a rock critic, and his songs sound like they were written by a rock critic. Everything is there except honesty. I found myself getting frustrated at the waste of wonderful lyrics that occurs so often. "The Book of Love" would be great without the last line (you oughta buy me wedding rings), which sabotages the entire song, which is the closest thing to a sincere sounding track on the whole record.
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.
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By A Customer on July 17 2003
Format: Audio CD
Today, when most pop songs are simple to the point of vapidity, both musically and lyrically, it is refreshing to find something like this album. Merritt blends perfectly the beautiful melodies with clever, witty lyrics as he explores all forms of love from the disguised lament of the ugly teenager and the hopelessness of the spurned lover to the joyous proclamations of those that have found true love. He matches musical genre to the message of the song and makes effortless transitions between each. The voices of the songs have true emotion in them and successfully vary in tone so as to augment the lyrics. Claudia Gonson's voice is beautiful and brilliant, constrasting nicely with Merritt's deep bass. My only complaint is that Claudia ought to sing more. To summarise as best I can, this music is poetry, philosophy and melody. It is dark and insightful, naive in places, cynical in others, but never depressing. A true masterpiece.
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By A Customer on April 24 2000
Format: Audio CD
Stephin Merrit is a poet, and the 69 Love Songs are a testament to his skill. In them he wades through the viscissitudes of love from many vantages. I can't decide between volume 1 and volume 3 as my favorite. Volume 1 of course is a logical starting point and contains simple, majestic tunes like #2 "I Don't Believe in the Sun," #6 "I Don't Want to Get Over You," #8 "The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side," and #12 "The Book of Love" (I like the lyrics here a lot). The album contains not only marvelous lyricism but also appropriate instrumentation and ornamentation. The occasional electronic flourishes are reminiscent of the great Magnetic Fields release Holiday and provide just the right touch at times. Volume 1 of the 69 Love Songs is a recommended album for those who are new to the Magnetic Fields as well as long-time fans who haven't gotten into the box set yet.
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By A Customer on June 21 2000
Format: Audio CD
I really enjoyed this album. It's really different, quirky, trippy [choose a pertinent adjective]. I am not, perhaps, the most cool and in the know person to talk to about music, so I had never heard of The Magnetic Fields before. I was reading a review of the new Belle & Sebastian release FOLD YOUR HANDS... (which I liked, too ~ though perhaps not as much) and there was review suggesting TMF, so I bought it and was positively surprised. I just bought Vls. 2 and 3. Stephen Merritt is a really gifted songwriter/performer and I will definitely be looking for his work with the Gothic Archies, etc. He reminds me of Morrissey, somewhat, but better and not as smug. Some of the highlights of Vl. 1 are I Don't Believe In The Sun, Chicken With It's Head Cut Off, Nothing Matters When We're Dancing, etc. The only songs out of the 23 that I didn't like were Reno Dakota and How F*cking Romantic.
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