• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 1999

Universal acclaim - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 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.
  2. 69 elegant observations by a pop master.
  3. Even the "jazz" and "punk" cuts are good for a few laughs -- total losers are rare indeed.
  4. 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.
  5. Like a great romance, it's consistently lovable even when stupid or frustrating, and its best moments are absolutely breathtaking.
  6. Each song contains its own small epiphany, but they never quite add up to the one big sweeping epiphany that you'd hope for.
  7. 90
    The merely wonderful arrangements pale next to the songs themselves.
  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. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. For its epic length, the collection occasionally (rarely) drags, but when it does, it doesn't for long.
  13. A boundlessly entertaining expose of what happens when you mix fine words with excellent melodies to make great songs.
  14. In the hands of someone less witty and schizoid, a near three-hour epic would be unforgivable, but Merritt at play is frequently magical.
  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 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 64
  2. Negative: 4 out of 64
  1. Jim
    Feb 4, 2008
    Rolling Stone is wrong again. A great album
  2. JohnP.
    Apr 15, 2008
    Lyrically brilliant and beautifully structured from start to finish. One of the most relevant and ambitious albums of the 90s, and a Lyrically brilliant and beautifully structured from start to finish. One of the most relevant and ambitious albums of the 90s, and a must-have for anybody who prides themselves as having good taste in music. Full Review »
  3. WayneW.
    Jan 17, 2008
    This album is just a fun album to listen to. Stephin Merritt writes incredible lyrics!