Magnetic Fields


If this is Magnetic Fields’ way of saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” consider the lesson learned. While Realism’s title may suggest a grand step away from the Fields’ signature bizarre-but-dreamy soundscapes, the stuff included here is anything but pragmatic. Moving from its predecessor album’s shoegaze rock aesthetic, Realism presents itself as an unconventionally twangy take on frontman Stephin Merritt’s reliably over-the-top “formula.” Though tracks like “We Are Having a Hootenanny” sound more like the soundtrack to Muppets Take the Grand Ole Opry, it’s numbers like “Interlude” and “The Dolls’ Tea Party” that best represent what Merritt likely had in mind here: avant folk pop that sounds like Velvet Underground one minute and Goldfrapp the next.


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