REVIEW: The Magnetic Fields - Distortion
We Listen For You Friday, January 18, 2008
Writing this review hurts me...it's like discussing the last year of an ex-sports God who should have retired the year before. Distortion is just that, an album distorted in sound quality and meaning. The opening track "Three Way" is fun enough, a little repetitive, a little too close to Devo, but I forgive that. The next track however, "California Girls" is where my anger begins. The distortion covers what if I imagine hard enough is a clean guitar hook, but we'll never know. Merritt then lyrically distorts everything that the Beach Boys has taught us about California Girls, a little bitter, and really pushing the idea of distortion. We get it...but a gimmick can't carry an entire album. Distortion was used by Sonic Youth's "Daydream Nation" but in a dark ballet sort of way. This album displays all of the things Magnetic Fields fans love about their music, but then distorts it, making it hard to connect to the sound. Each song is too thick, too loud, and has none of the charm typical of Merritt's work. Magnetic Fields fans have waited like addicts for this release. I'm still craving my hit, this did not do anything for my obsession. I used to be able to say that the band had a flawless discography, with this release, I sadly can no longer use this line.