Distortion (The Magnetic Fields album)

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Studio album by The Magnetic Fields
Released January 15, 2008 (US)
Recorded Mother West, New York
Genre Indie pop, noise pop
Length 38:46
Label Nonesuch Records (US)
Producer Stephin Merritt
The Magnetic Fields chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Art Nouveau Magazine (Positive)[2]
The A.V. Club A[3]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[4]
NME (8/10)[5]
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10)[6]
PopMatters (8/10)[7]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[8]
This Is Fake DIY 4/5 stars[9]
Time Off 4/5 stars[10]
Tiny Mix Tapes 4/5 stars[11]

Distortion is an album by The Magnetic Fields. It was officially released on January 15, 2008 by Nonesuch Records.

As the album's name implies, several of the musical performances featured were distorted by various means. In particular, this sound quality was influenced by the 1985 album Psychocandy by The Jesus and Mary Chain.[12][13] No synthesizers were used to record the album; it is the second in a "no-synth trilogy", after the 2004 album i and before the 2010 album Realism.[14] It was recorded and co-produced by Charles Newman at Mother West Studios in New York City.

Distortion debuted at number 77 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling about 8,000 copies in its first week.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Stephin Merritt. 

No. Title Length
1. "Three-Way"   3:01
2. "California Girls"   3:00
3. "Old Fools"   3:02
4. "Xavier Says"   2:42
5. "Mr. Mistletoe"   2:59
6. "Please Stop Dancing"   3:01
7. "Drive On, Driver"   2:51
8. "Too Drunk to Dream"   3:00
9. "Till the Bitter End"   3:03
10. "I'll Dream Alone"   3:08
11. "The Nun's Litany"   2:58
12. "Zombie Boy"   3:05
13. "Courtesans"   2:59


The Magnetic Fields
Additional personnel
  • Daniel Handler – accordion
  • A. Klasinski, I. Pearle, R. Stevens – "orgiasts"

Distortion was produced by Stephin Merritt. It was recorded with additional production by Charles Newman at Mother West, New York. Robert Stevens acted as assistant engineer. The album was mixed by Charles Newman, Stephin Merritt, and Tom Rogers. It was mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless, Boston with additional mastering by Tom Rogers.

The album design is by Evan Gaffney Design, with a photo by Marcelo Krasilcic. The Magnetic Fields logo was designed by Michael English.

Claudia Gonson provided management.


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Art Nouveau Magazine review[dead link]
  3. ^ Heller, Jason. "The Magnetic Fields: Distortion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  5. ^ "The Magnetic Fields: Distortion". NME. January 4, 2008. 
  6. ^ LeMay, Matt (January 14, 2008). "The Magnetic Fields – Distortion". Pitchfork Media. 
  7. ^ PopMatters review[dead link]
  8. ^ Rolling Stone review[dead link]
  9. ^ This Is Fake DIY review[dead link]
  10. ^ Time Off review[dead link]
  11. ^ Tiny Mix Tapes review[dead link]
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 2008). "Barbed Wire Kisses". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Realism | Nonesuch Records". Nonesuch Records. November 13, 2009. Retrieved November 18, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Interview: Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt". The Village Voice. October 1, 2008. Retrieved December 6, 2008. 
  15. ^ Katie Hasty, "Keys Still Atop Album Chart In Slow Sales Week", Billboard.com, January 23, 2008.

External links[edit]