373 of 1001 Albums: The Magnetic Field’s 69 Love Songs

69 Love Songs means there are literally 69 love songs on the album. I never want to spend this long with an album again no matter how good it is. I was basically working through three disc of 23 songs per disc. By the time you’ve completed this album you’ve went through so many sounds that it may be difficult to remember a lot of the tunes, and some just seem so short they have no place the middle of the huge array of songs.

History: It’s one of the few albums that doesn’t sound like it’s from 1999. It makes sense that the original intention for this album was one that combined sketches, dance, and live music because it truly sounds like it could be brought to life. Stephen Merriot originally said he planned that the album would have 100 songs on it, but narrowed it down to 69. The band has performed the whole album live seven times, and it takes about two nights to do so.


Vocals: Merriot isn’t the only one in the band who contributes his vocals to the album, but also females and other males lend their vocals to the album. This sets it apart, and also makes the album sound less like it’s from a band, but more so a movie playing out for your ears. Merriot’s voice is the real catcher of the album though when is the one being used. He has a really deep baritone voice, and since that vocal is so rare to hear it’s intriguing. Also, he does use his voice well.

Instruments: This album uses a ton of instruments, and the album is oddly labeled indie pop. I think with all the different styles explored it’s difficult to narrow this one down as one genre. There is some pop, some folk sounds, and even some Celtic sounds meshed in. It’s an odd journey, and a good exploration of what can be done to instruments on one album. The one memorable song that I couldn’t get out of my head even after listening to 60 or so songs after it though was “I Don’t Believe In the Sun” .I still have that song stuck in my head, and it’s by far the best of the album.

Recording: The recording on the album captures the vibe well, and the atmosphere that was the intention of the album. As said, this album isn’t supposed to make you feel love as it isn’t about love, but songs that are about love…whatever that means. What makes the album unique, and probably even gives it an inclusion on the list is the fact that the main guy intended this album to be a show case of talent of all arts, and not just music. I can’t imagine how you would even lightly capture that in a recording, but they made a good attempt.

I’m not too fond of a lot of the lyrics’ messages, and this isn’t something I could listen to personally considering the songs are made to be a representation of something more than just what could be expressed in a song alone. The guy embarked on a huge journey though and made a little idea he got at a piano bar into a huge album. That is a little empowering to say the least.

Rating 5 of 10.

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