Reviews The Magnetic Fields I

The Magnetic Fields

I

Disclaimer: I am not actually going to write much about this album itself because I don't have too much to say about it, and I feel I'm entitled to at least one snarky review here. Christ, I've grown to hate the self-conscious style of writing that's so easily employed to take a way out of a review or any other kind of meaningful peace of writing. Yet, I think I might use this device as a way out of this review. End disclaimer.

When I first wanted to write here, I was all "oh man, I'm going to tear shit apart, and it's going to be way funny, and I can't wait, and oh man it's just going to be awesome." Then I started reviewing stuff, and although it's only been like four reviews, I still haven't found anything I truly hated. The Magnetic Fields' newest release I is no exception.

Of course everyone knows the Magnetic Fields from their ambitious previous work, 69 Love Songs, but this follow up album is decidedly much more small scale and intimate. Taking a slightly annoying gimmick of naming the album I, then proceeding to title all of the songs beginning with the letter "I," lead singer, Stephin Merritt and his cohorts do manage to produce a very well rounded chamber pop album.

Merritt's homosexuality is explicitly defined in many of the album's songs, including "I Don't Really Love You Anymore," and "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend." Now here comes an obvious statement from me: despite the songs being gay in orientation, they are all situations that anyone can appreciate for their songwriting and brilliantly produced merits (oh god, sorry). "I thought I was just the guy for you and it would never end./I thought we were supposed to be like glue,/I thought you were my boyfriend." Merritt sings these lines with almost a hopeless tone. One in which it seems as though it's happened before, and he expects it to happen again. The lyrics speak to the same thing that everyone feels in a time of romantic dissolution or ecstasy.

Well, despite a rocky start, this review didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought it would be. I mean I did kind of harp on one thing for a while, though, didn't I? Oh well. The album is certainly worthwhile; it's a nice little album with very heartfelt lyrics and excellent production values. Merritt's song writing abilities, while sometimes heavy handed are often very earnest and poignant.

7.5 / 10Ryan
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Nonesuch

2004

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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