The Magnetic Fields release their new album "Distortion" next week. Apparently Stephin Merritt is channelling the Jesus and Mary Chain by having all his grand songs covered in a gloriously fuzzy sheen of distortion. Now, I love feedback in pop songs, and I also love all those 18-carat gold gilted songs Mr Merritt concocts. But the two together? I really hope it works. The one song I've heard so far, "Three-Way", sounds like a Phil Spector track if it was taped onto an old C90 cassette off another cassette which had been taped off a crackly AM radio station. Well, maybe it's not that crackly and distorted, but the distortion certainly blankets the song in just the way feedback should. AND this song features the occasional shout of, "THREE-WAY!" which is just so endearing.
The only downside to this record? The cover. Oh my god, the cover. If I had never heard the Magnetic Fields before, I would avoid this like some, I don't know, family planning pink plague. Have a look:
Now, compare this to, say, the best Magnetic Fields album EVER:
Which one would you choose? Please, please go back to the wonderful illustrations of yore and ditch the crimson toilet sign. He looks like he made the cover in Microsoft Word with Times New Roman and Wingdings.
However, I shan't be too critical because I know it's going to be a cracker of an album. It's a Magnetic Fields album - how could it not be?