Charm Of The Highway Strip
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Originally released in 1994, this was The Magnetic Fields' Merge debut and fourth full-length. Presented here on HQ 180-gram vinyl with beautiful artwork and full art euro-sleeve insert, this marks the classic record's first appearance in LP format. Ten gothic country-pop road songs; kind of like if Yaz were from Oklahoma. It continues to be one of the band's most popular records and is one of the best selling releases in the Merge catalog. Includes a coupon for an MP3 download of the entire record.
Sweet and sour, incurably romantic, and deeply misanthropic, Magnetic Fields' mastermind Stephin Merritt is a one-of-a-kind voice in modern lo-fi pop. This 1994 outing is a bit of a departure, with Merritt taking his trademark ABBA-styled Casio-pop for a spin in the country--literally. Awash in lush, Nashville-ready production, songs like the doleful "Lonely Highway" (which encompasses snatches of the Lee Hazelwood classic "Jackson") and "Born on a Train" are nothing short of thrilling. But much of this particular stretch of the Fields is lacking in charm, since Merritt's wry stance chafes a bit too hard against the guileless melodies. Completists may feel compelled to take a ride, but novices should probably stick to the more urbane journeys offered by Holiday and Distant Plastic Trees. --David Sprague
Top Customer Reviews
Add to the synth beats a synthesizer banjo, guitars and that familiar baritone croon to get that real country feel. It is at times sad and sometimes funny. Listen to the story about a woman who is effected by the trains in her life "Fear of Trains". The irony is thick, clever and the characters are always interesting.
A must have for any collection!
Most recent customer reviews
Even though this is diffrent from other Magnetic Fields cds, I would say it's a good place to start. It's by far their most consistant album. All the songs on here are standouts. Read morePublished on March 28 2003
I recommend this album for those curious about Magnetic Fields but intimidated by the sprawl (and cost) of "69 Love Songs". Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2000
While CERTAINLY not techno (that realm encompassing entirely computer-generated and simulated noises), the Magnetic Fields present us with a gentler view through technology,... Read morePublished on July 21 2000 by Collin M. David
the magnetic fields prove that techno music doesn't have to be all shallow facade -- it can be honest, melodic, and heartfelt if the songs are up to the task. Read morePublished on Oct. 7 1999
Don't be fooled by the number of times 'ABBA' is repeated in the reviews of this CD--there's a fair dose of Leonard Cohen here too. Read morePublished on Dec 6 1998