Do The Magnetic Fields release standard albums anymore, or strictly box sets? The gargantuan volumes the band seem to be spitting out are a testament to what The Magnetic Fields really is: a vessel for Stephin Merritt’s prolific songwriting. 50 Song Memoir is exactly what it sounds like; an autobiographical ode to the first 50 years of Merritt’s life, with one song penned for each year spread over five LPs. A quick glance at the song titles reveal clues as to how and where Merritt spent his time through different time periods in his life (the image of a 20-something Merritt milly-rocking at 80’s NYC club institutions Danceteria and The Pyramid Club is keeping us especially warm on this cold March Monday). Merritt sings on every song and plays over 100 instruments, lending this bevy of tracks the full range of musical styles and textures he has absorbed over the years, ranging from intimate ukulele numbers to upbeat disco pop. Includes a 100-page book containing lyrics for each song, photos, illustrations, liner notes and an extensive interview with Stephin Merritt conducted by David Handler, housed in a hard outer box with free digital download.
- 5x vinyl boxset
- 100-page book
- digital download included
- music label: Nonesuch 2017
reviewed by dj winyl destination 03/2017