Monday, January 26, 2009

69 Love Songs

The Magnetic Fields' epic collection of 69 Love Songs is outrageously good. It may also be one of the few albums where the name matches the content perfectly.

Frontman Stephin Merritt is an extremely strong songwriter who, in addition to writing pop songs, writes for musical theater. His theatrical experience enables him to write pop songs in the stile rappresentativo, or the style that carefully matches the music with the words and their tone.

Most people who have heard the album agree that the volume one of the three volume set is by and far the best. But what about the other two discs? Where do they stand?

Here are some songs from volumes two and three that are often overlooked.

The Magnetic Fields - Grand Canyon (Volume 2)
This song is eloquent, simple, and romantic.

The Magnetic Fields - Busby Berkeley Dreams (Volume 3)
Probably the most emotional Merritt's voice gets.

The Magnetic Fields - Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin (Volume 3)
The lyrics are phenomenal. They could stand alone as an excellent poem.

The Magnetic Fields - Time Enough for Rocking When We're Old (Volume 2)

BUY 69 Love Songs


mym said...

His theatrical work came later than 69LS - and most people don't think cd1 is the "strongest" (not most people I know anyway). Many of the less acute critics said that, but that's because they lazily didn't play all the way through. I'm glad you did :)

Chris said...

Yeah, my bad on the dating of theatrical work. I guess that his subsequent work in musical theater just indicates that he may have been in a pseudo-theatrical mindset even when he was doing his 69LS work.

I've been finding that many of my friends, even those very familiar with volumes 2 and 3, still consider volume 1 superior. I guess it just depends on who you know.

Thanks for the correction!