Weekly Capsule Reviews: 14/05/2017


This week: The Magnetic Fields, Mac DeMarco, Japandroids

The Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir [Nonesuch, 10/03/2017]

Fifty songs in five ten-track CDs, each song dedicated to a year of Stephin Merritt’s endearingly-ingrained-in-popular-culture, arduously-fought-for life. The half-century is encapsulated by 1968’s cat that hates him, 1969’s crying-out for Judy Garland, 1970’s [innocent] fear, 1972’s shyness, 1977’s speaking-ill-of-the-[detestable]-dead, 1979’s very sound advice nobody listens to, 1981’s sign of the musical times, 1984’s nightclub education, 1986’s failing ethics, 1992’s valetudinarianism, and 1994’s desolate stint due to a lack of monetary stabilisation. The rest, thereafter, is mostly the result of ignoring 1979. (8/10)

Mac DeMarco: This Old Dog [Captured Tracks, 05/05/2017]

No ode to cigs this time. According to This Old Dog, the father in his youth may be more detrimental to his health than the Viceroy. Mac DeMarco’s swift traverse to sombre songsmith shows his maturity in self-deprecation attributed mainly to that aforementioned figure in his life who never cared enough to be there or comfort DeMarco in his shortcomings as an aspiring messer. Contextualising this is the first track and seeing more of his old man in himself, track four’s lament that heartbreak is always around the corner, track nine’s universal advice, track eleven’s passing of the gauntlet from father to son, and the finale’s all-encompassing decision that could make-or-break the relationship they never had. Adds a whole new meaning to “dad-rock”. (6/10)

Japandroids: Near to the Wild Heart of Life [ANTI-, 27/01/2017]

Y’know, I more than half-like their ethereal burst of born-again AOR. (6/10)


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