Albums to watch

Love At The Bottom Of The Sea

The Magnetic Fields

Love At The Bottom Of The Sea

Boston's indie-pop maverick Stephen Merritt reverts to synths for his 10th album

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  1. 10.0 |   Art Rocker

    A vibrant and adorable record
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  2. 9.0 |   Rave Magazine

    Put simply, Love At The Bottom Of The Sea finds Merritt operating with laserlike focus and at the very top of his game – a winning combination
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  3. 8.6 |   Beats Per Minute

    Perfection may be unattainable, but like the love in Love at the Bottom of the Sea, it sure as hell doesn’t mean we should stop striving for it
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  4. 8.5 |   BBC

    A timely reminder that he’s pretty much the master when it comes to penning arch pop
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  5. 8.0 |   Clash

    The album’s fifteen songs all clock in under three minutes and the emphasis is on punchy, wonkily-melodic nuggets
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  6. 8.0 |   DIY

    This is pop music at its wittiest and most concise, yet for all its maturity and refinement, it's hard to believe that an album so youthful could be made by a group of forty-somethings
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  7. 8.0 |   Spin

    He's once again smitten with ABBA's Europop impression of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, and the density and unpredictability with which he pursues it offsets the unerring rhythms of his rhymes
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  8. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    Every song is under three minutes long, and Stephin Merritt’s droll baritone is a metronome for much of the record
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  9. 7.4 |   Paste Magazine

    All its songs traffic in the cozy synth-strings-and-strums aesthetic that Magnetic Fields owns at this point
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  10. 7.0 |   NME

    Charming in a rudimentary sort of way, with the focus, as ever, falling to Merritt's beautiful punning
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  11. 7.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Love at the Bottom of the Sea does oscillate sharply in terms of quality, though the stature of its finer moments comfortably overshadow the lesser offspring
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  12. 7.0 |   PopMatters

    Merritt’s merry band has returned to what it does best, capturing snapshots of love from unexpected perspectives
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  13. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    While the Magnetic Fields pose as indie rockers, internal rhymes like "Let Laramie take care o' me till they bury me" suggest they've learned something from rappers and honky-tonkers, too
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  14. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Purposefully ridiculous but brilliant. I’m just terrified I’ll hate it in a few months
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  15. 7.0 |   The Quietus

    Love At The Bottom of the Sea does nothing to diminish his reputation as a songwriter of remarkable scope and invention
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  16. 7.0 |   The Fly

    There’s ample reward for anyone fond of lines like “Let Laramie/Take care’a me/‘Til they bury me”
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  17. 7.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Another collection of charming, infectious pop songs — a solid addition to the band’s expansive catalogue
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  18. 6.7 |   A.V. Club

    A fun and uncompromising record, but very little of it sticks in the head or the heart
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  19. 6.5 |   Prefix

    A Magnetic Fields album that’s reminiscent of the band’s halcyon days
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  20. 6.1 |   Pitchfork

    A new kind of disappointment from a Magnetic Fields record: It doesn't even give you much to talk about
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  21. 6.0 |   The Scotsman

    Stephin Merritt, aka the baritone bard of Brooklyn, returns to a signature lo-fi electro pop backing for his sardonic, sophisticated lyrics and entertaining song titles
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  22. 6.0 |   Under The Radar

    As always with Merritt, the song is the thing
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  23. 6.0 |   AU Review

    The lesson: brilliant lyrics alone do not a great album make
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  24. 6.0 |   The Independent

    Marks a return to The Magnetic Fields' abrasive electropop, which isn't always to the songs' advantage
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  25. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    By now we know Merritt's brain inside out – it would be nice to get another glimpse inside his heart
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  26. 6.0 |   Q

    Merritt's most enjoyable album for years. Print edition only

  27. 6.0 |   Mojo

    Only a slight dearth of killer melodies disappoints. Print edition only

  28. 6.0 |   Uncut

    Too many tracks are still founded on tiresome conceits. Print edition only

  29. 6.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    It's referential; it trawls the usual sexual back alleys with topics including transvestitism and paraphilia, and it's deliberately, defiantly cheesy
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  30. 6.0 |   music OMH

    Certainly has its moments, but Merritt albums now feel like inessential appendices to a great catalogue, rather than fundamental further developments
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  31. 6.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The constant rush of music (15 songs in 35 minutes) gets sadly wearing, and the Tin Pan Alley stylings seem far more by-rote than they ever were when The Magnetic Fields made habitual use of electronics
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  32. 6.0 |   Slant Magazine

    [It] has its highs and lows, but Merritt's hardline melancholy never surrenders
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  33. 5.0 |   FasterLouder

    It’s fun but it’ll hardly sate your appetite for indie pop music
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  34. 5.0 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    A resounding 32-bit whoopie cushion
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  35. 2.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    A damp and dreary album
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The Magnetic Fields: Love At The Bottom Of The Sea

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