514a. The Magnetic Fields – “69 Love Songs” (Disc 1)

In light of the large number of songs (69 in fact!) on this 3 disc set, I’m reviewing each in isolation – with an overall rating to follow).

MagneticFieldsThe-69LoveSongs sixty nine love songs merritt merit album cover review blog onealbumadayNow, here is an album that came from left field into my life.  Hyped to the max, I jumped on it relatively early in its extremely surprising journey to success.  And I’ve never really got off the bandwagon.

The album is audacious, yet once heard seems so self-evident as a concept: Stephen Merrit and his troop of ne’er-do-wells belting out vaudevillean show tunes of all descriptions, exploring all facets of love.

This first disc kicks off like there isn’t going to be a bad track. From Absolutely Cuckoo on it capers and wordplay galore:

It takes ’til track 10 before I’m even thinking of hitting ‘skip’. And then the album delivers one of the great tunes of all time (indeed, the song we had a very talented friend sing as our wedding song): The Book of Love. So sardonic and as romantic or cynical as you’d like it to be:

This disc is sly, intelligent, wry and belligerent (at times). At least 18 of the 23 track on here are gems, and with that sort of hit rate one can’t argue.

File under: That big fat 3 disc set you can’t resist

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