|Photo by: Amazon|
Key Tracks: "Andrew in Drag," "Your Girlfriend's Face," I'd Go Anywhere With Hugh"
Seemingly a collection of lighthearted love songs, The Magnetic Fields’ 10th studio album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, is actually full of dark innuendos and sarcastic undertones. One of the band’s numerous frontmen and primary songwriter, Stephin Merritt, wittingly delivers us a handful of plainly farcical songs. The collection of different singers and instruments keeps the album versatile and fast-paced.
Unfortunately, in spite of the humor and assemblage of sound, the album fails to leave a mark and falls short of impressing even the most hardcore indie fan. The best part of Love at the Bottom of the Sea is the fact that its 15 tracks run smoothly together and all remain under three minutes each. The middle of the album is especially bland, and the humor gets old very quickly. Luckily, the section flies by in under 10 minutes and is not long enough to dwell on.
The first album single, “Andrew in Drag,” is the epitome of Merritt’s dry wit. The track is a pleasant-sounding love song from a man to a drag queen named Andrew. The entire song is a series of love couplets such as, “The moment he walked on the stage my tail began to wag / I’m like a little wiener dog for Andrew in drag.” This track is by far the album’s best and catchiest number.
“Your Girlfriend’s Face” is no more amusing, as the title seems like the typical love song about someone else’s girlfriend. The singer, however, is really talking about hiring a hit-man to kill the girl. The music takes on an upbeat and synthesized pop sound while the lyrics are immensely grotesque. “He’ll have to hose off your twisting place / After he blows off your girlfriend’s face / I want the whole bloody place / Wet with your girlfriend’s face.”
“I’d Go Anywhere With Hugh” is the first track that incorporates a pun into the title. The joke is humorous at first, but by the final track, “All She Cares About is Mariachi,” the wordplay gets a bit old, as Merritt attempts to rhyme Mariachi with lines such as “hair like Liberace.”
This surprisingly comical parody of an album is quite amusing at first, but does not show any signs of inducing more than a chuckle on the second listen. Although the songs are all laced with humor, the lack of depth is unsatisfying as a whole. Hopefully by their 11th album, The Magnetic Fields can leave a greater impression with songs actually worth listening to.
Angela Perley proves herself to be one of Ohio's finest on her latest EP with The Howlin' Moons.
Mice Parade's newest effort can be enjoyed in the moment, but it probably won't carry on long afterward.
Local Natives’ sophomore album Hummingbird is reminiscent of their successful first work, but a stronger focus on message may hinder the album musically.
Dull, dreary, Danish.
Indians delivers something comfortable, but the band's musical ability isn't the problem--it's that it fails to create something memorable and different.
Tegan and Sara channel love and heartbreak on their gentle and honest new album.
Buffalo Tales has been classified as a combination of Americana and folk, with an organic touch that's definitely worth listening to.
Rudresh Mahanthappa has found more than a few ways to explore the jazz fusion genre.
Colours Like Features is a standard radio-friendly alternative rock experience.
Buke and Gase have managed to do the impossible. The twosome are creating intelligent music that strays from conventional pop structure.