Monday, January 7, 2008

new magnetic fields album!

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?


chrishafa said...

Hi Alex,

I've spent many (wasted) hour trying to work out whether I love Holiday or Charm of the Highway Strip the most and can never decide.

'Distortion' has received pretty mixed receiws so far - and that's 'mixed' in the proper sense of some praising and some damning, not as a euphemism for bad. It seems people who dislike talk about his desire to out Jesus and Mary Chain The Jesus and Mary Chain, while people who do refer to his hyperacusis.

Nice to see another music blog from someone I know, it seems people are missing LJ as a forum to rant about their favourite records.

Lo Slung said...

OMG Alex has a blog!

... now that I'm 12 months late onto the picture what did you think of Distortion? I thought it was rubbish! I bought it in Bolognia, and very nearly left it there.


alex said...

Hanney! Well, I thought it was alright - it had its moments ('Drive On Driver') but it wasn't something I couldn't pull off my stereo. I think the cover has scarred me for life.