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Amazon's The Magnetic Fields Store


Image of album by The Magnetic Fields


Image of The Magnetic Fields


the Magnetic Fields
Love at the Bottom of the Sea


Songwriter Stephin Merritt enjoys working with themes: escape, country roads, vampires, miniatures. The Magnetic Fields’ House of Tomorrow (1992) featured all “loop” songs. Distortion (2008) was an homage to the sound ... Read more in Amazon's The Magnetic Fields Store

Visit Amazon's The Magnetic Fields Store
for 17 albums, 8 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 May 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0001NNL8O
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,075 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. I Die 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. I Don't Believe You 3:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. I Don't Really Love You Anymore 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. I Looked All Over Town 2:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. I Thought You Were My Boyfriend 4:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. I Was Born 2:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. I Wish I Had an Evil Twin 3:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. If There's Such a Thing as Love 2:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. I'm Tongue-Tied 2:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. In an Operetta 2:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Infinitely Late at Night 2:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Irma 2:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Is This What They Used to Call Love 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. It's Only Time 4:25£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

The long-awaited follow-up to the acclaimed 1999 release 69 Love Songs, i finds singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt in full possession of his acerbic wit. Featuring lyrics ripe with melancholy and bittersweet imagery, the record's 14 tracks are possibly the most personal Merritt has created to date--a departure from the many voices on 69 Love Songs.


Is it art or is it affectation? On i, the Magnetic Fields' much anticipated follow-up to the critical and commercial success of 69 Love Songs, Stephen Merritt--the brains behind the band--sets himself a new target: 14 songs with titles all beginning with the letter "i". So, it's a simpler goal than before, which allows Mr Merritt to really stretch his creative brain in the right direction: the songs themselves. As 69 Love Songs proved, Merritt is a dab hand with a catchy ditty and i has loads of them. "I Don't Really Love You Anymore" has a jaunty beat that's in direct contrast to its rather downbeat title, while "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend" is a great take on 80s synth-pop, one that suits his lazy crooning voice perfectly. But where its predecessor had an obvious tenderness (due in no small part to its subject matter), i often veers too close to pretentiousness. Too much of it sounds like cleverness for cleverness's sake. Merritt is obviously a very talented songwriter. He just shouldn't always try so hard to prove it. --Robert Burrow

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard Brown on 1 Jun. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ignore the review above; while this album may be more acoustic than its predecessors, the sound is truly awesome. This is the first album I heard of The Magnetic Fields, and it really did blow me away. While it has something of an 80s synth feel to it, the use of violins, cello - even the banjo - make this album a joy to listen to. In addition, the sheer variety of styles, tied together by Meritt's hopeful yet melancholic vocals, makes this an album you will love on first hearing and hum the tunes to yourself for months. It's so good to find something simple and original these days!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "jpleyens" on 17 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD
The great majority of this album is perfect; the less successful tracks, 'I'm Tongue-Tied' and 'It's Only Time' (the latter being slightly schmaltzy)could, however, have been omitted and one feels that the album somewhat tails off after track 8. The cynicism of 'I Don't Believe You','I Don't Really Love You Anymore' and 'I Thought You Were My Boyfriend' is exquisitely incisive, and - far from being pretentious or overly-clever - Merritt's lyrics on these tracks are astute and introspective without being verbose.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. G. Munday on 4 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD
this was the first album of the magnetic fields i have listened to, and i can honestly say that i like every song. the lyrics and music are fantastic and stephin merrits voice is like scott walker meets richie havens. i can't wait to listen to the other albums as my son says 69 is his favourite.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
The joy of 69 Love Songs was picking out the gems amongst the one-joke novelties. On 'i', whilst there are some great moments, sad to say that the quality control still doesn't stretch over a whole album. The music has moved away from the electronic experiments favoured previously, which leads a lot of this album to sound quite samey. The one song where the synths are back, "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend", is possibly the strongest here - like prime Pet Shop Boys in a particularly bad mood. Ultimately, too many of these songs start well but don't go anywhere and fall back on repitition. 'I Don't Believe You' is catchy, but just repeats the same 20 seconds of music endlessly with different verse lyrics. For literate pop, the Divine Comedy or Black Box Recorder are still superior.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 47 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Impressed is Imminent 27 Nov. 2004
By Rygel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Something that always is impressive about Stepen Merritt is his bravery in bringing pop music out of it's dull, repetition and into a brilliant ride of lyrical bliss and musical genius. His use of everything from the cello to the banjo on the latest work of The Magnetic Fields 'i' is both deep and catchy. With poppy songs like "I Don't Believe You" and "If there's Such a Thing As Love" put into a mix with the odd "In an Operetta", with the bitter breakup tune "I Thought You Were my Boyfriend". The Cd ends with the beautiful "It's Only Time" which is the highlight of the CD, both lyrically and with it's lovesick tune.

This is an album that has no bad songs at all and never disappoints, even with it's experimental adventures.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Better than 69 16 Sept. 2004
By K. Busch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hold a minority view: I think this album is better than the 69 Love Songs. The lyrics are at least as good -- clever, heartbreaking, insightful, ironic, funny. The biggest improvement is better musical composition. As in good classical music, the accompaniments have become interesting. "I Die" is almost a duet for voice & cello. "I Thought You Were..." has a haunting counter-tune in the treble. "Tongue-Tied" uses pauses as cleverly as Haydn. "Infinitely Late" is spare and rich simultaneously.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant, but too much filler 15 July 2005
By Bo Brinkman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an unusual CD, with a lot of things to recommend it. Stephin Merritt has the ability to write catchy tunes in many different styles, always showcasing his smoky baritone voice. "I Don't Believe You" is a witty and up-tempo quasi-love song. "I Wish I Had An Evil Twin" reminds one of They Might Be Giants, while "I'm Tongue-Tied" is a honky-tonk lament in the style of "Crazy."

I don't even want to talk about the "I" theme, but it does not seem forced, and does not detract from the album.

My main criticism of the album is that tracks 10-14 are fairly un-memorable. They are pleasant and hum-able, but to me they seem like filler.

This is definitely a must-have CD for anyone with a particular interest in great song-writing, but it is not a masterpiece.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Say hello to Merritt's BEST album! 23 May 2004
By vidar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I heard that this album doesn't break any new ground for Stephin Merritt, I decided to give it maximum 4 stars, no matter how good I would think it was. I love "69 Love Songs". It is one of my favourite albums of the last ten years. For a long time, I have intended to write a review of "69", but I don't think I ever will. It's a hard album to write about, and my English isn't good enough to do it justice.
With "i", Merritt has done the best thing he could possibly have done. To make a completely different album, just to prove he can develop, would be foolish of him, having such a gem of a 14-songs collection up his sleeve.
This album is so beautiful, it actually makes me cry. I don't cry that easily, and the last time I cried because of the sheer beauty of an album, was when I got acquainted to "Forever Changes" some years ago.
This album is pure gold from start to finish. It's an incredibly beautiful sounding album. No synthesizers. Cello, harpsicord and banjo dominates the soundscape. And what songs they are! Most songwriters would do anything to write songs like these. And Merritt makes it seem so easy, like he's writing these songs as effortlessly as picking leaves from a tree.
If I took my 14 favourite songs from "69" and made it into one personal favourite album, the result wouldn't have been much better than this. Yes, that's how good I think it is! For me, this is probably the album of the year. And it makes the best soundtrack for the summer of 2004 I could possibly have hoped for.
I seriously believe that Merritt is touched by the hand of God.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pure and simple: the masterpiece of the year so far 2 Jun. 2004
By I. M. Sanchez Prado - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am a great fan of the chaotic passion of 69 Love songs and I always believed that Stephen Merritt and his band would not be able to match it. This CD proves me wrong. It works in two levels. First, it is a wonderful epilogue to the Box Set. This album is the ripe, finished result of that exercise of experimentation and creativity. The power of the love cliche, minimalist music and Merritt's apparently uneventful, yet perfect vocals, reaches here a degree of near perfection. However, falling in the temptation of staying in the comparison with 69 Love songs would be underestimating this collection. In itself, it is a wonderful, enjoyable, passionate CD. It is one of the best songwriting around and Merritt proves that to be great you don't need an excess in arrangement or a pseudoepic appearance. This CD is musical poetry at the highest and it does nothing but remind us that there is hope beyond the increasing mediocrity of the musical mainstream.
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