The Magnetic Fields
i


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
May 30th, 2010 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Um, I thought we were meant to be like glue?

Stephen Merritt loves theatrics for their cheap concepts and their lousy execution, and that’s what his records would be on the surface if he wasn’t essentially insane and if he didn’t hate everything. 2004’s i may come a belching four years after its predecessor of gay bars and theatre, 69 Love Songs, but Merritt is still having trouble dusting stage shows off of his suit. First off, it’s still got simplistic designs on itself: every track begins with an “I”, although even here Merritt is careless and acting with strands of irony (he can’t really be bothered to keep it going past track seven and resorts to Ifs and Ins and I’ms). He only restricts himself with such indulgence to take society down with him and gift his listeners the now-typical social commentary that plagued him five years ago. On i he takes to simplicity and child-like awe, with the twinkling sounds of a jack-in-the-box on “I Was Born” or the thwacking of an xylophone on “Infinitely Late at Night”.

When it hasn’t just dawned on him that things have sounds, however, the music is melodramatic and ridiculous, such as the ultra-pop hit “I Thought You Were My Boyfriend” where he runs the gamut of love, if it were romanticised to death: the piano begins a moody show tune, and through the lyrics he idealises everything one possibly could about a relationship: “I thought I was just the guy for you and it would never end/I thought we were meant to be like glue I thought you were my boyfriend/I thought you were my boyfriend”. And the best bit of it all is that no matter how saccharine Merritt’s band get, and no matter how much sugar he pours into baroque pop jams such as “In an Operetta”, his voice remains monotonous and hateful. If you’re looking for music to apply the word “antithesis” to, look no further than Merritt’s no-synth trilogy and its humble beginnings on i – I’ve never heard someone less excited to play a banjo.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2010


10599 Comments


short reviews are all the rage

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

robin
Emeritus
May 30th 2010


4261 Comments


i wanted to be like dylan

but also it's like 1.30 and i can't be arsed to turn in =(

Bitchfork
May 30th 2010


7584 Comments


Ends abruptly. Fix now or be eaten.

Relinquished
May 30th 2010


26107 Comments


snoozing is great

robin
Emeritus
May 30th 2010


4261 Comments


it is
and now it's happenong.

foreverendeared
May 30th 2010


14678 Comments


"I’ve never heard someone less excited to play a banjo."

Haha, great review. I'd probably like this.

kount
May 30th 2010


1279 Comments


aww man

Bitchfork
May 30th 2010


7584 Comments


dudetuna??

Bitchfork
May 30th 2010


7584 Comments


jeez 1:30, where the hell doth thou live?

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all the cool kids review in 500 words or less rudy.

I guess

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010


10599 Comments


i thought you had to piss your pants to be cool

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

...well fuck, arriving late to that party.

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010


7584 Comments


Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?

Kiran
Emeritus
May 31st 2010


6002 Comments


caught in a landslide, no escape from realityyyyyyy

Digging: D'Angelo - Black Messiah

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010


7584 Comments


Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see


rasputin
May 31st 2010


14555 Comments


amazing review as usual mate

this is the one magfields album i still haven't heard =(

robin
Emeritus
May 31st 2010


4261 Comments


at least rasp appreciates me =) you should def get it dearest.

p.s. bitchfork i live in britain and everyone else i only wrote this review short because i wanted to make a social statement about dylan. or not.

Kiran
Emeritus
May 31st 2010


6002 Comments


review rules btw

robin
Emeritus
May 31st 2010


4261 Comments


you rule ;)

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

apparently I'm now associated with short reviews? hmmmm.

reading this again made me bump the record.



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