STUPID and Contagious

Our holiday home from stupidd.blogspot.com !

The Magnetic Fields – Distortion (2008)

“Distortion” is The Magnetic Fields’ eighth album, and second album for Nonesuch Records.

The great fey and witty Stephin Merritt is back with his mates to provide another slice of wry, intelligent New York songwriting supreme.

This time Stevie’s going for a harder sound. Yes, baby, it’s feedback time for the Fields! It’s early VU or Psychocandy rather than George Gershwin or Cole Porter. This style and Stevie’s songwriting sensibilities might seem at first to be strange bedfellows, but it really works, with the edginess of the music a nice counterpoint to Stevie’s lyrics – this time mainly about beautiful godly things like fucking, orgy-making and drinking (my favourite pastimes)!

Here’s some bloke from BBC:

Seemingly Stephin Merritt, the brains (and virtually the entire musical brawn) behind The Magnetic Fields cannot commit music to tape without having some kind of concept to hang it all on. His previous effort, i, featured songs that began with the selfsame letter, while 69 Love Songs was exactly what it said it was, stretched over three discs. It’s almost as though Merritt’s like some post-modern Todd Rundgren. A maverick so bored with his own innate abilities that he has to rouse himself with some kind of weird self-inflicted challenge.

Distortion, as the title hints, attempts to recreate the halcyon days of the Jesus And Mary Chain, circa Psychocandy. The difference is, of course, that although the Reid brothers may have been iconoclasts of the first water, they never had Merritt’s god-given gift for song writing. The two strands make for unlikely bedfellows. Like Gershwin drenched in feedback in Phil Spector’s echo chamber, each of these songs is a lyrically barbed (and sexually charged) exercise in melodic subversion. It’s a partially successful experiment. The opener, “Three-Way” is a jaunty near-instrumental that puts one in mind more of the avant pop of another 80s outfit, The Associates. Yet when Merritt gets out his mannered baritone on songs like “Mr Mistletoe” it’s a little like hearing a hardcore Divine Comedy. It’s clever but not ultimately satisfying for the soul.

Perhaps the trouble is the Goth/reverb overkill. Certainly “Too Drunk To Dream”‘s celebration of intoxication is a hilarious evocation of Spector’s Big Apple pop in the service of modern hedonism and “Please Stop Dancing”‘s guitars are a real visceral thrill. But too often you sense that under the sheen of pastiche lies some wonderful craft that would benefit from clarity, not fuzztone mayhem. It’s never less than fascinating, but not something you’d return to again and again…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/x6zf/


Tracklisting

1. Three-Way 3:00

2. California Girls 3:00

3. Old Fools 3:00

4. Xavier Says 2:40

5. Mr. Mistletoe 2:57

6. Please Stop Dancing 3:00

7. Drive on, Driver 2:49

8. Too Drunk to Dream 2:58

9. Till the Bitter End 3:02

10. I’ll Dream Alone 3:04

11. The Nun’s Litany 2:58

12. Zombie Boy 3:03

13. Courtesans 2:59

Here be Punk Gershwin:

Magnetic_Fields-Distortion

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Music_Alternative, The Magnetic Fields, _MUSIC | Leave a comment

The Magnetic Fields – Distortion (2008)

“Distortion” is The Magnetic Fields’ eighth album, and second album for Nonesuch Records.

The great fey and witty Stephin Merritt is back with his mates to provide another slice of wry, intelligent New York songwriting supreme.

This time Stevie’s going for a harder sound. Yes, baby, it’s feedback time for the Fields! It’s early VU or Psychocandy rather than George Gershwin or Cole Porter. This style and Stevie’s songwriting sensibilities might seem at first to be strange bedfellows, but it really works, with the edginess of the music a nice counterpoint to Stevie’s lyrics – this time mainly about beautiful godly things like fucking, orgy-making and drinking (my favourite pastimes)!

Here’s some bloke from BBC:

Seemingly Stephin Merritt, the brains (and virtually the entire musical brawn) behind The Magnetic Fields cannot commit music to tape without having some kind of concept to hang it all on. His previous effort, i, featured songs that began with the selfsame letter, while 69 Love Songs was exactly what it said it was, stretched over three discs. It’s almost as though Merritt’s like some post-modern Todd Rundgren. A maverick so bored with his own innate abilities that he has to rouse himself with some kind of weird self-inflicted challenge.

Distortion, as the title hints, attempts to recreate the halcyon days of the Jesus And Mary Chain, circa Psychocandy. The difference is, of course, that although the Reid brothers may have been iconoclasts of the first water, they never had Merritt’s god-given gift for song writing. The two strands make for unlikely bedfellows. Like Gershwin drenched in feedback in Phil Spector’s echo chamber, each of these songs is a lyrically barbed (and sexually charged) exercise in melodic subversion. It’s a partially successful experiment. The opener, “Three-Way” is a jaunty near-instrumental that puts one in mind more of the avant pop of another 80s outfit, The Associates. Yet when Merritt gets out his mannered baritone on songs like “Mr Mistletoe” it’s a little like hearing a hardcore Divine Comedy. It’s clever but not ultimately satisfying for the soul.

Perhaps the trouble is the Goth/reverb overkill. Certainly “Too Drunk To Dream”‘s celebration of intoxication is a hilarious evocation of Spector’s Big Apple pop in the service of modern hedonism and “Please Stop Dancing”‘s guitars are a real visceral thrill. But too often you sense that under the sheen of pastiche lies some wonderful craft that would benefit from clarity, not fuzztone mayhem. It’s never less than fascinating, but not something you’d return to again and again…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/release/x6zf/


Tracklisting

1. Three-Way 3:00

2. California Girls 3:00

3. Old Fools 3:00

4. Xavier Says 2:40

5. Mr. Mistletoe 2:57

6. Please Stop Dancing 3:00

7. Drive on, Driver 2:49

8. Too Drunk to Dream 2:58

9. Till the Bitter End 3:02

10. I’ll Dream Alone 3:04

11. The Nun’s Litany 2:58

12. Zombie Boy 3:03

13. Courtesans 2:59

Here be Punk Gershwin:

Magnetic_Fields-Distortion

January 23, 2008 Posted by | Music_Alternative, The Magnetic Fields, _MUSIC | Leave a comment