Album review: The Magnetic Fields – Realism (Nonesuch)

Album review: The Magnetic Fields - Realism (Nonesuch)


Tuck into some sophisticated sarcasm from one of pop's finest songwriters

The soft-shoe companion to 2008’s hard-soled, feedback-drenched ‘[b]Distortion[/b]’, ‘[b]Realism[/b]’ uses virginal Judy Collins albums as its jump-off point. But with this still being the work of [b]MF[/b]’s mainman [b]Stephin Merritt[/b], it’s much less peace-signs and ponchos at dawn and more like sophisticated sarcasm for elevenses. ‘[b]Distortion[/b]’’s ‘[b]California Girls[/b]’ finds its match in ‘[b]The Dolls’ Tea Party[/b]’; a terse unveiling of Upper East Side mores with a killer Claudia Gonson vocal, it rips into high society with the grace of an Oscar Wilde put-down. Similarly, the last album’s ‘[b]Too Drunk To Dream[/b]’ is mirrored by the tongue-in-cheek waltz ‘[b]Seduced And Abandoned[/b]’. More A-grade angst from one of our cleverest songwriters.

[b]Priya Elan[/b]

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Click here to get your copy of The Magnetic Fields’ ‘Realism’ from Rough Trade shops.