69 Songs, 2 Hours 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This ambitious 69-track set was the release that brought the classic, Brill Building-esque songwriting abilities of Magnetic Fields front man Stephen Merritt to the attention of a wider audience in 1999. He’d already made at least one stupendous concept album (‘94’s Charm of the Highway Strip) before. This time he revels over the course of three hours in his chosen subject, love. Most of the songs tell of unrequited love, and while Merritt strips away much of the misanthropic irony that characterizes his other work, one would be hard-pressed to label this effort “earnest.” The sonic palette is rich and lush; these decadent MIDI-pop songs beautifully collapse genre forms together: Broadway show tunes, Europop, bubblegum, country, New Wave, and Tin Pan Alley.  

EDITORS’ NOTES

This ambitious 69-track set was the release that brought the classic, Brill Building-esque songwriting abilities of Magnetic Fields front man Stephen Merritt to the attention of a wider audience in 1999. He’d already made at least one stupendous concept album (‘94’s Charm of the Highway Strip) before. This time he revels over the course of three hours in his chosen subject, love. Most of the songs tell of unrequited love, and while Merritt strips away much of the misanthropic irony that characterizes his other work, one would be hard-pressed to label this effort “earnest.” The sonic palette is rich and lush; these decadent MIDI-pop songs beautifully collapse genre forms together: Broadway show tunes, Europop, bubblegum, country, New Wave, and Tin Pan Alley.  

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