The Magnetic Fields: Distortion (Nonesuch)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Magnetic Fields: Till the Bitter End
The Magnetic Fields: Distortion (Nonesuch)

Okay, this is wilful on the part of Magnetic Fields' mainman Stephin Merritt and myself.

On his part because here the wunderkind of US pop-rock saturates everything in feedback and distortion (hence the album title) -- and on my part because this album won't be easy to find in New Zealand (if you wanted to, that is).

But I include it here largely to point to the Essential Elsewhere album (see tag) by Magnetic Fields and also indicate just how smart/unconcerned Merritt is.

Merritt seems to genuinely make music for himself and although he can craft a beautiful melody, has a way with dry and wry and sometimes satirical lyric, he isn't going to pander to pop or rock radio. He just does what he does and you either get it -- or you don't.

My guess is only Jesus and Mary Chain people -- or those who liked the feedback album that came with Neil Young's Arc/Weld all those years ago -- will line up for this particular outing.

I doubt Merritt cares either way.

Because this isn't getting local release in New Zealand here's a YouTube clip of the album track California Girls, his poke at those beauties the Beach Boys celebrated in song.

Check this incarnation of MF music out -- but divert your very serious attention to 69 Love Songs. That's the real oil.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend (Acony)

Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend (Acony)

The quiet and often largely invisible power beside Gillian Welch, guitarist/singer-songwriter Rawlings here comes into the spotlight with a collection of folk-country and alt.folk-rock songs which... > Read more

Various Artists: Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah; 70s New York Disco (Backbeats/Triton)

Various Artists: Yowsah Yowsah Yowsah; 70s New York Disco (Backbeats/Triton)

Some music -- even from the first few bars -- is time-specific. The merest whiff of a particular drum sound and guitar can conjure up rockabilly of the Fifties, and some beats plus swooping strings... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

San Francisco and Seattle: are you talkin' to me?

San Francisco and Seattle: are you talkin' to me?

It was at a mayoral dinner function in Seoul recently and I had got dressed up. For the previous few days my young interpreter had seen me in jeans and an open-neck shirt -- so I guess it was her... > Read more

GUEST WRITER GEOFF HARRISON reflects on Keith Emerson and the Moog synthesiser revolution

GUEST WRITER GEOFF HARRISON reflects on Keith Emerson and the Moog synthesiser revolution

Keith Emerson's recent passing powerfully resonated with me – and not just the way he left in early‑March but, more reflectively -- on how that instrument he mastered and pioneered back... > Read more