69 Love Songs - Magnetic Fields

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Even the "jazz" and "punk" cuts are good for a few laughs -- total losers are rare indeed.
  2. 69 elegant observations by a pop master.
  3. Alternately recalling the best work of Blondie, Leonard Cohen, Depeche Mode, and dozens more, 69 Songs About Love is a sprawling masterpiece of White Album-like proportions.
  4. Each song contains its own small epiphany, but they never quite add up to the one big sweeping epiphany that you'd hope for.
  5. Stephin Merritt's most ambitious as well as fully realized work to date, a three-disc epic of classically chiseled pop songs that explore both the promise and pitfalls of modern romance through the jaundiced eye of an irredeemable misanthrope.
  6. 90
    The merely wonderful arrangements pale next to the songs themselves.
  7. Like a great romance, it's consistently lovable even when stupid or frustrating, and its best moments are absolutely breathtaking.
  8. There are plenty of throwaway tunes, and the sound quality is decidedly lo-fi, but what's most surprising about this three-CD collection is the number of good songs.
  9. He jumps styles of music effortlessly, all the while managing to pull things together with touching and inventive lyrics.... One of the best releases of the year.
  10. In the hands of someone less witty and schizoid, a near three-hour epic would be unforgivable, but Merritt at play is frequently magical.
  11. By my count, you've still got 50 keepers out of 69, give or take a few songs. And about a third of those sound like classics.
  12. A boundlessly entertaining expose of what happens when you mix fine words with excellent melodies to make great songs.
  13. Unabashedly beautiful tunes like "I Don't Believe in the Sun" and "Come Back from San Francisco" provide provide ample payoff for the arduous process of listening to the collection in total.
  14. For its epic length, the collection occasionally (rarely) drags, but when it does, it doesn't for long.
  15. After three discs, Merritt's mesmerizing display of sustained inconsequentiality starts to seem like one of those Guinness Book of World Records stunts, impressive but pointless.
  16. Merritt's compositions have a tossed-off, barely produced quality and are held together by sturdily constructed melodies that hark back to Eighties synth poppers like Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Aug 12, 2013
    Although there are many more famous albums you could make a strong argument for Magnetic Fields '69 Love Songs' being the best of the 90's. Doing exactly what it says on the tin it contains 69 songs that are all at least in some way about love. Everyone will have their own favourites (mine are The Book of Love and All My Little Words) but, aside from the odd bit of filler, there is not really a poor song on here. Full Review »
  2. Feb 22, 2012
    There aren't too many triple albums out there and that's probably for a good reason. This is one of the rare cases where it was a good idea. This is a sprawling 69 track album, almost 3 hours in length. It's a real concept album in every sense and an amazing achievement to have written, recorded and released such a huge album. You often hear of bands thinking of these projects but they rarely get completed. Billy Corgan has often hinted he was doing one but he always seems to lose patience halfway through and just release an album. The sheer size of the album inevitably means it's not all great but for the most part the quality is consistently high. It's not a record for the casual music listener - you really need to be an enthusiast to appreciate the whole album. At times the lyrics are really funny, other times your just not sure if he's serious or not but throughout it's the lyrics that stand out. There are many different styles to be found on the record. There's a bit of Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy in here (or perhaps there is some MF in him) and personally some of the vocals remind me a lot of Morrisey. Several songs have a hint of the Smiths about them, then at other times you get a sense of Brian Wilson off the record. Already it's a cult classic and a lot of this is because of it's length and consistent quality. Having said that, if the best of the 69 tracks had been cut to say even a 20 or 30 track double album it could have been one of the great albums. Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2011
    Amazing. Among my favourite albums of all time. Stephin Merritt is a prolific songwriter. There are so many gems on this album. It's a must haveâ Full Review »