The Magnetic Fields - i

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I make no secret of the fact that I think Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields is a song-writing genius, and this new album hasn't altered that opinion at all. He has a lugubrious baritone voice that renders his wonderful lyrics as wistful or deadpan hilarious as appropriate. He reminds me a lot of Noel Coward or Morrissey, with the same quicksilver turn of phrase or quirky rhyme.

'I Thought You Were My Boyfriend' is a sad, bitter little song about a breaking up:

The joke's on me againI know you don't love meYou know I don't careKeep it hidden betterDid I say the world was fair?

My favourite so far (after a few listens) is 'I Wish I Had an Evil Twin':

My evil twin would lie and steal And he would stink of sex appeal All men would writhe Beneath his scythe He'd send the pretty ones to me And they would think that I was he

Put those great lyrics together with catchy, bouncy tunes and you've got an album that sticks in your mind tenaciously.

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