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69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Summary: This 26-track set compiles works composed by the Magnetic Fields leader for three separate Chen Shi-Zheng operas.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. The album is absurd, confusing (the random sequencing can be a bitch if you're trying to follow individual plots), hilarious (only Merritt could pen a libretto titled What A Fucking Lovely Day!) and bloody brilliant.
  2. Los Angeles Times
    88
    This suggests that a full focus on inventive musical theater may be where his talents will flourish. [19 Mar 2006]
  3. Each of these tracks - the duelling-banjo Train Song; the elegiac And He Would Say - is really perfectly formed, beautifully satisfying in structure alone.
  4. Uncut
    70
    The overall tone is bracingly sour but surprisingly accessible. [Apr 2006, p.98]
  5. There can be too much of a good thing, and making your way through all 26 tracks of Showtunes will definitely leave you with a tummy ache.
  6. Mojo
    60
    Like Weimar cabaret Gilbert & Sullivan. [Apr 2006, p.104]
  7. Q Magazine
    40
    Highly theatrical, camp and not a little shrill. [Apr 2006, p.116]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. jeffb
    Apr 1, 2006
    9
    These songs are MUCH better when integrated within their whole mini operas. iTunes has all three of them. Strange but beautiful stuff. Lots These songs are MUCH better when integrated within their whole mini operas. iTunes has all three of them. Strange but beautiful stuff. Lots for the Merritt/Fields fan to grab to. Expand
  2. matta
    Mar 17, 2006
    7
    There are some beautiful moments, but, as Pitchfork pointed out, the way Merritt chose to release the songs feels wrong. Using just a few There are some beautiful moments, but, as Pitchfork pointed out, the way Merritt chose to release the songs feels wrong. Using just a few traditional Chinese instruments for the musical makes sense, but for this record it feels like something is lacking. Obviously, this is how Merritt wanted it to be, but I just can't help but wonder if he would have fused the style on the record with magnetic fields. That right there would have raised it to a nine in my opinion. Expand
  3. joshn
    Mar 23, 2006
    3
    It's gets a three for "Shall We Sing a Duet" and it's reprise, otherwise I will never listen to any other song on this album. It's gets a three for "Shall We Sing a Duet" and it's reprise, otherwise I will never listen to any other song on this album. Reviews make it sound like listenable showtunes when actually it just pradles on to the point of irritation. Expand
  4. ChazM
    Mar 19, 2006
    1
    This album is utterly unlistenable, except for by critics hoping to make a point in the already frustrating spectrum of "Indie Rock." By the This album is utterly unlistenable, except for by critics hoping to make a point in the already frustrating spectrum of "Indie Rock." By the way, I do love 69 love songs Expand