The Magnetic Fields - Distortion (3 stars)

(Nonesuch)

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The Magnetic Fields - Distortion

INDIE

Ostentatious douchebag or modern master of clever pop, Stephin Merritt certainly knows how to divide opinion – and ten offerings down the line, there’s still no stopping him. Following I, which featured entire songs that began with the selfsame letter, Merritt takes the concept album to new levels by creating a work that shamelessly tries to out-Jesus and Mary Chain the Reid brothers, swamping soaring vocals and those trademark bittersweet lyrics in thick layers of woozy feedback. Distortion is far from an easy listen: there’s an enormous amount of tuneless drivel to wade through before the gloriously melodic middle set of tracks kick in, and so only those really willing to persevere should give it a go.

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