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Obscurities Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The singer-songwriter from The Magnetic Fields releases a solo album of B-sides, compilation cuts, and various unreleased material.
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  • Record Label: Merge
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Lo-Fi, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

Forever and a Day
Forever and a day, We'll dream our lives away, Our love is here to stay, Marry me. I'll give you every color of the rainbow; They'll say it can't be... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Nine seven-inches etc. plus five previously unreleaseds including three remnants of an abandoned musical obviously add up to an intentional hodgepodge. Still, I wonder whether the intention was to backload.
  2. Aug 22, 2011
    These Merritt wonder-tonics may not curl your hair or cure any ailment, but they act as a salve to a multitude of human conditions. Best to stock up and be prepared.
  3. 80
    Most telling is how glad he is to be free of concept-Obscurities contains songs from five(!) different projects, all of them rescued from any context but musical, which is all the overwhelmed guy who made five projects in the first place wants to focus on in his old age.
  4. Under The Radar
    Aug 19, 2011
    While Obscurities may skip around different genres that rarely mesh together in a cohesive fashion, the gems here shine bright enough to justify Stephin Merritt's status as not only a master craftsman but one of the top tier musicians around today. [Jul 2011, p.90]
  5. Sep 9, 2011
    For completists Obscurities is a must. For Magnetic Fields fans it's a worthwhile starting point for Stephin Merritt's other projects. For newcomers, start with 69 Love Songs and come back when you've fallen in love with everything else.
  6. Aug 29, 2011
    All that being said, every track has at least something of interest about it, and with Obscurities managing to squeeze in fourteen of them in less than forty minutes, even the worst never outstay their welcome.
  7. Uncut
    Aug 19, 2011
    It only really comes alive with an alternate version of "Take Ecstasy With Me," which reminds us that original Magnetic Fields singer Susan Anway is still his definitive interpreter, the Ella to his Cole. [Sep 2011, p.91]

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 15, 2011
    I discovered 69 Love Songs about 4 years ago, thanks to the film Tarnation, and have since been scouring the Magnetic Fields catalog as wellI discovered 69 Love Songs about 4 years ago, thanks to the film Tarnation, and have since been scouring the Magnetic Fields catalog as well as Merritt's side projects like The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, Gothic Archies, (Hell I even purchased Showtunes), etc. Not to take away anything from those albums but Obscurities transcends into the realm of 69 Love Songs and still feels fresh and new. I love this album. "When I'm not Looking, You're Not There" is flat out fantastic. A melody developed where every note is a different instrument. I could listen to an entire album of songs with that concept. As long as Merritt was behind them. Overall 8/10 even though I couldn't ask for a better collection of B-Sides...unless he's got another 69 Love Songs laying around... Expand