A blog devoted to the works of Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, The Gothic Archies, et al. This blog will feature news related to his work, as well as occasional fanboy gushes from the author. Thank you for stopping by, and may all your dreams come true.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Not a lot happening today, but there are a fuck-ton of reviews.  I think this is going to be the last batch I post unless someone requests otherwise (and, seriously, I'm 98% sure I'm the only one reading all of these), so gobble 'em up while you still can!

Monsters Under the Bed, a cool blog in its own right, loves the record.  Death & Taxes disagrees and doesn't see the album's folky leanings.  Indie Wiretap can dig it, but appears to have only heard Distortion before this one, or something.  Nothing Not New hates the record, it seems, but kinda loves The Magnetic Fields, which is cool, I guess.  Slowdive and Consequence of Sound both think it's pretty okay.  Spin Magazine gives it 4/5 stars.  And, then there's that Pitchfork review, which, like so much of their work, is written by a talented person who completely doesn't, nor bothers to try to, understand this record.  This isn't bias speaking either, as I'm not offended by its insipid 6.0 rating (the whole concept of a grading scale is kinda iffy to me), it's just that the review is a frustrating example of poor journalism.

The beautiful Stephinsongs graciously linked to this meager little blog yesterday, for which I'd like to extend an open thanks.  When I first got into this music so long ago, Stephinsongs was a valuable resource to me and it's a privilege and an honor to be recognized by it.  Also, it's run by a generally nice fella, so that's cool too.

Realism and its iTunes bonus track (!!) are still playing here in Williamson Hollow.  I hope all is well for you, dearest readers, and that you're loving the record as much as I.


  1. What bloody bonus track??

  2. 6/10? Isn't that what they gave Hyacinths and Thistles and Eternal Youth? Just crazy... I would give it either a 7.5 or 8/10, since 9/10 seems a little generous to me. I do hope Stephin will be doing full vocal duties for the next album...

  3. Not that Claudia or Shirley are bad singers, I love their singing. I just miss 30+ minutes of nothing but Stephin vocals.
    Also, I changed my mind, either 8 or 8.5/10.

  4. Actually..... Make that a 9/10. I'm listening to it through for the second time, and the first time I was a little confused and didn't really know what to expect.

  5. I'd be even more generous and jump straight to 10/10, and that's real talk. I love it so much! Glad you do too, Alex. And, while I love Stephin's voice a whole lot, I welcome the inclusion of Ms. Simms. Her voice is so majestic and technically beautiful! Ms. Gonson too, although she's been featured on every record since 69LS with her gorgeous backing vocals.

    And, Pitchfork is generally the most unreliable source on earth, which is a shame considering the talent they have under their belt.

    And, while I know who Fuck-ton is and that he's just joking, I'll clarify for those curious parties that the bonus track is USA iTunes exclusive and is entitled "When Will You Love Me Again?" It rules. I updated the discography about this, you guys. C'MON!!


  6. Hi Michael.

    I'm the Indie Wiretap dude. I've heard more of their work, as well as a little bit of Stephin Merritt's stuff, and simply picked Distortion as the basis for comparison because it's what most people most recently associate with The Magnetic Fields. Also, I viewed it as the sister/brother/whatever album to Realism.

    I appreciate the link and hope you didn't take my narrow scope as not having heard/not caring about their older work.



  7. Oh, gosh, Aaron, I'm very sorry and certainly hope I didn't offend. I meant nothing bad by my little comment, I promise you that much.

    I am glad you enjoyed the record though!