Love at the Bottom of the Sea

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Mar 6, 2012
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
Buy On
  1. Mojo
    Mar 22, 2012
    60
    Only a slight dearth of killer melodies ... disappoints. [Apr 2012, p.86]
  2. 60
    It's hard not to listen to this album and to think that they've mined this territory already in 69 Love Songs.
  3. Q Magazine
    Mar 14, 2012
    60
    It's lacking some of his scabrous wit, but this is Merritt's most enjoyable album for years. [April 2012, p.101]
  4. Uncut
    Mar 14, 2012
    60
    Too many tracks are still founded on tiresome conceits. [Apr 2012, p.81]
  5. Mar 9, 2012
    60
    The album's highlights are many, further proving that Stephin Merritt is one of the finest songwriters alive. He simply needed an editor this time around.
  6. 60
    In flirting with frivolity en route to the sublime, the Magnetic Fields too often sound frivolous.
  7. Mar 6, 2012
    60
    Overproduction and a general (and oddly generic) sense of overarching silliness keeps the 15-track set from achieving the lovely balance of dirty wit and sincere heartache that made albums like Wayward Bus and Charm of the Highway Strip so immediate and life affirming.
  8. Mar 5, 2012
    60
    There's still a feeling of something missing here, and while the material is much stronger than on the band's most recent releases, there's also a sense that these are the first 15 songs Merritt wrote for the project and not the best of a larger selection.
  9. High on saccharine and low on fidelity, LATBOTS has one foot in the recent 8-bit scene, the other in Merritt's own back catalogue.
  10. Mar 5, 2012
    60
    For such a self-avowed perfectionist, and judged against the admittedly high standards of his magnum opus, it comes up a little short.
  11. Alternative Press
    Mar 2, 2012
    60
    The 15 songs here chart a typical course through the American songbook, with paradoxically straight-faced camp, morose show tunes and orchestral chamber pop without the aid of an actual orchestra. [Apr 2012, p.96]
  12. 60
    Love at the Bottom of the Sea marks a return to The Magnetic Fields' abrasive electropop, which isn't always to the songs' advantage.
  13. Mar 1, 2012
    60
    The exact same things that made 69 Love Songs such a tour de force--smart namechecks, hyperactive genre-surfing, a DIY feel to the production (he's back on the synths)--are the very same things that can start to grate here.
  14. Mar 1, 2012
    60
    It's enjoyable enough, but the potency of Merritt's wit is gradually sapped by one wheezy, sluggish melody too many.
  15. Feb 29, 2012
    60
    Love At The Bottom Of The Sea certainly has its moments, but Merritt albums now feel like inessential appendices to a great catalogue, rather than fundamental further developments.
  16. Mar 19, 2012
    53
    Stephin Merritt, once capable of such subtlety, such beauty in his cynicism, has produced a record that's surprisingly shallow.
  17. Mar 5, 2012
    40
    Sly winks at a complicit listener are replaced by a troubling disregard for the audience, and The Magnetic Fields sink to the bottom of the sea of self-satisfaction.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Dec 11, 2014
    7
    "Love at the bottom of the sea" sticks to the Magnetic Fields formula of quirky pop - nice but relatively unremarkable melodies accompanied by"Love at the bottom of the sea" sticks to the Magnetic Fields formula of quirky pop - nice but relatively unremarkable melodies accompanied by often clever, always weird lyrics. Opening track "God Wants Us To Wait" is one of the bands better tracks in recent times however the rest of the record treads water, keeping at an above average mark. In typical MF style, the songs are kept short, sweet and to the point which gives them an appeal and allows even the weirdest tracks to remain listenable. Fans will enjoy - newcomers would be better advised to check out 69 love songs. Full Review »
  2. Mar 31, 2012
    3
    "The Machine in Your Hand" is one of the few compositions on the 15-track album of The Magnetic Fields - "Love At The Bottom Of The Sea","The Machine in Your Hand" is one of the few compositions on the 15-track album of The Magnetic Fields - "Love At The Bottom Of The Sea", which presents a fairly bearable level. The entire release is just boring - synth pop genre give you a huge range of possibilities, but band seems to forget this and they're exerting childish vocals to the not very diversified base. Full Review »
  3. Mar 18, 2012
    8
    Great record. Laughed and cried at the same time. Lyrics are hilarious and instantly stuck in your mind. "Andrew in drag'' may be my personalGreat record. Laughed and cried at the same time. Lyrics are hilarious and instantly stuck in your mind. "Andrew in drag'' may be my personal single of the year... Pure fun. God, i wanna dance... Full Review »