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Realism by Magnetic Fields
Released: Jan 2010
Label: Nonesuch
Apparently, Realism is composer Stephin Merritt's attempt to deconstruct the meaning of authenticity in post-revival American folk music. For the majority of the population who have no idea what that means, this Fields album is a cheeky ode to the orchestral folk-pop of the 1960s. It's not bad at all, even if the tongue-in-cheek lyrics try too hard to be clever. Merritt's intricate melodies betray a true love of classics like Judy Collins' Wildflowers, early Leonard Cohen and the Free Design.
Justin Farrar