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Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs: A Field Guide (33 1/3) Paperback – November 3, 2006
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"Regardless of yourappreciation for the music, LD Beghtol's book is a fun, passionate, andwonderfully peculiar dissection of the excellent album it lovingly explores."-Michael Keefe, Pop Matters, March 27,2007 (Pop Matters)
“Regardless of yourappreciation for the music, LD Beghtol’s book is a fun, passionate, andwonderfully peculiar dissection of the excellent album it lovingly explores.”-Michael Keefe, Pop Matters, March 27,2007 (Sanford Lakoff)
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Top Customer Reviews
69 Love Songs is not my favorite MF album, but I do love it. I love the scope of it, I love all the varied faces of love here, I love the way Merritt channels so many great songwriters and styles and I love his inventiveness.
While the author has a lovely voice, he appears to know squat about poetry or poetical analysis. He also appears to believe everything Merritt says as the absolute truth.
My problem is that his analysis of many of the songs is just plain weird. While it might not agree with my thoughts on the songs, I decided I would test the interpretations that seemed weird with others. So I gave two people who weren't familiar with MF the lyrics and the interpretations from the books. They didn't agree either.
It's as if the author reads into these songs what he'd like them to be about. Merritt often writes about vampires, so "I Don't Believe in the Sun" must be about vampires, even though the song won't support it. And so on, it's maddening and ruined the book for me.
However Merritt draws on so many ideas and metaphors that there is value in knowing who people are. But then again often this is pretty shallow in the book. I found myself often wishing to know more. The definitions are better when things are more obscure.
I wish I could recommend this book, the album deserves so much more. But, in the end I can't. Read the lyrics in the albums, look up the things you don't know on Wikipedia, and find the meaning yourself. You'll do better than the author.
The first and lengthiest half of this edition is a lexicon. This would be fine if it were original. The content, however, is not unlike that which can be found on various websites devoted to the band and without having to deal with Beghtol's pseudo-intellectual blathering. Remember Mr. Beghtol, merely posing and spouting off like an intellectual does not an intellectual make.
The second half of the book is a song by song reflection from those involved and not so involved with 69 Love Songs. There are some insightful comments found here, however, it lacks any depth as to the process involved in the creation of the album. I would have been much more interested in reading about Stephen Merritt's thought and recording process rather than how the album got someone through a really rough patch in their life. Am I the only one who doesn't care how an album affects others?
The last section, considerably shorter than the other two, is an interview with Mr. Merritt. Unlike Daniel Handler's expansive interview for the box set, don't look for any insight here. Silly questions with silly answers. "Spit or swallow?" Brilliant and hilarious. Well, maybe ten years ago.
Unlike most of the 33 1/3 series Beghtol's 69 Love Songs installment could have been condensed down into a short pamphlet. That is if you were to take out all the pointless filler and vainglory.
For the benefit of all involved, I pray that this will be L.D. Beghtol's final attempt to squeeze whatever juice the 69 Love Songs franchise may still possess. His boorish sensibility and pretentious meanderings are stale.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A little too fragmented and idiosyncratic for the casual listener/reader. The glossary of terms used in 69 Love Songs is fun and informative, but beyond that, its hard to... Read morePublished on February 23, 2007 by Charles Sikkenga