Stephen Merritt is the man behind Magnetic Fields and here he tries to craft a multi-CD set looking at the various angles to love…the happy, the sad, the lonely, the goofy, and the sensual all make their appearance. When Merritt is at his best, he crafts simple but indelible melodies and lyrics that emphatically lodge themselves in your cerebrum. (“I Don’t Believe in the Sun”,""The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side",“Papa Was a Rodeo”) but there are many tunes here that are pleasant if not that memorable filler and several that are so experimental as to be unlistenable. (“Experimental Music Love”) Merritt’s voice is a foghorn of an instrument, perhaps like Leonard Cohen if he tried to write songs that were a bit more “mainstream”. Tagging along for the ride with Merritt are 3 other vocalists who takes turns at times on the mic.
I’d borrow this from the library FIRST…but if you find yourself loving disc 1, then it’s probably worth getting the box. Though Disc 1 is strongest, there are charming tunes to recommend themselves on Disc 2 and 3 as well.