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Wayward Bus - Plastic Trees

Magnetic Fields

CD  |  Pop  |  13 Dec 2019

Wayward Bus - Plastic Trees | CD


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Magnetic Fields Wayward Bus - Plastic Trees CD




Magnetic Fields' first two albums, released in 1990 and 1992 on tiny indies and all but ignored until the release of this double CD in 1994, are among the most influential records of '90s indie pop.


Resolutely unfashionable in the dawning of grunge, with their early-'80s synthesizers and deliberately twee lyrical preoccupations, these albums are directly responsible for dozens, if not hundreds, of less capable imitators. Thing is, they're also the least interesting and most atypical Magnetic Fields albums. Both albums were sung by Susan Anway, whose deliberately deadpan voice sounds like a cross between Tracey Thorn and Françoise Hardy, instead of Stephin Merritt. While Anway's voice has an alluring charm on many tracks and is absolutely perfect for songs like the Phil Spector pastiche "When You Were My Baby" and the classic heartbreaker "100,000 Fireflies," she can't always put across Merritt's signature mix of cynicism and romantic longing. For that matter, these are Merritt's weakest songs both lyrically and melodically, with only flashes of the wit and sophistication that flowered on later Magnetic Fields albums.


While there are several gems to be found here, including the hypnotic "You Love to Fail" and the swooning "Suddenly There Is a Tidal Wave," many of the melodies are unmemorable and a few of the lyrics strive for the kind of offhand cleverness that would later become Merritt's trademark. These records are historically important, and entertaining in their way, but they're by far the weakest releases of Merritt's career.


Title: Wayward Bus - Plastic Trees

Format: CD

Release Date: 13 Dec 2019

Artist: Magnetic Fields

Sku: 2175196

Catalogue No: MRG075CD

Category: Pop



1. When You Were My Baby

2. Saddest Story Ever Told

3. Lovers from the Moon

4. Candy

5. Tokyo a Go-Go

6. Summer Lies

7. Old Orchard Beach

8. Jeremy

9. Dancing in Your Eyes

10. Suddenly There Is a Tidal Wave

11. Distant Plastic Trees

12. Railroad Boy

13. Smoke Signals

14. You Love to Fail

15. Kings

16. Babies Falling

17. Living in an Abandoned Firehouse With You

18. Tar-Heel Boy

19. Falling in Love With the Wolfboy

20. Josephine

21. 100,000 Fireflies