Magazine article New Internationalist

Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Magazine article New Internationalist

Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Article excerpt

Love at the Bottom of the Sea

by The Magnetic Fields Domino WIG 285, CD, LP and download)

Arch, irreverent and yet always on the nail: the Magnetic Fields (left), and their sombre lead singer and writer Stephin Merritt, have an odd knack for combining pop with the pithiest of things.

And so, on the occasion of the New York band's 10th studio album, themes include iPhones, abstinence ('God Wants Us To Wait') and, in 'I've Run Away To Join the Fairies', a mordant attempt to escape consumerism. There's a lot to like, not least the fact that Merritt tends to write his music over cocktails in gay bars.

Merritt, who's immediately identifiable by a very low voice, is joined by his usual crew - cellist Sam Davol, guitarist John Woo and singers Shirley Simms and Claudia Gonson, who 4eo plays piano. Add some unfettered synthesizers to the mix and the orchestration is strange, but it works delightfully. …

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