Realism (The Magnetic Fields album)

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Studio album by The Magnetic Fields
Released January 26, 2010 (2010-01-26)
Recorded Mother West, New York
Genre Indie pop, folk-pop
Length 35:17
Label Nonesuch
Producer Stephin Merritt
The Magnetic Fields chronology
Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Realism is an album by The Magnetic Fields. It was officially released on January 26, 2010 by Nonesuch Records.

Described by songwriter Stephin Merritt as "my folk album", the instrumentation of Realism is largely acoustic, stark in contrast to the band's previous album, Distortion, released in 2008. Merritt said he "thought of the two records as a pair" and considered titling the albums True and False; ultimately, he couldn't decide which title would correspond with which album. The song "The Dada Polka" is the only track to utilize an electric guitar. Merritt also avoided using a traditional drum kit, further separating the sound of Realism from the noise pop of Distortion. Along with Distortion and the 2004 album i, Realism was also recorded without the use of synthesizers, completing the band's "no-synth trilogy".[1][2]

Joshua Rifkin, who arranged the Judy Collins albums In My Life and Wildflowers, was cited by Merritt as a creative influence for Realism.[1]

Track listing[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Buddyhead Positive [4]
Drowned in Sound (8/10)[5]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[6]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[7]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[8]
NME (8/10)[9]
Pitchfork Media (6.0/10)[10]
Slant 1.5/5 stars[11]
Spin 4/5 stars[12]

All tracks written by Stephin Merritt.

  1. "You Must Be Out of Your Mind" - 3:12
  2. "Interlude" - 2:11
  3. "We Are Having a Hootenanny" - 2:10
  4. "I Don't Know What to Say" - 2:29
  5. "The Dolls' Tea Party" - 2:17
  6. "Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree" - 2:24
  7. "Walk a Lonely Road" - 3:04
  8. "Always Already Gone" - 2:40
  9. "Seduced and Abandoned" - 2:21
  10. "Better Things" - 2:31
  11. "Painted Flower" - 2:11
  12. "The Dada Polka" - 2:21
  13. "From a Sinking Boat" - 3:26


The Magnetic Fields
Additional personnel


External links[edit]