69 Love Songs (reissue)

The Magnetic Fields’ 1999 three-disc magnum opus, 69 Love Songs, is already well-regarded as an amazing artistic achievement, one that does not necessarily need to be further written about so much as listened to. But 17 years after its original release, Merge Records has come out with a limited-edition vinyl reissue that gives us something more to discuss. The most obvious feature of this 10-inch box set of multicolored vinyl is its self-reverence for its fairly unanimous regard as a classic volume of independent rock that was also a touchstone for the crossover of indie rock to more or less the mainstream. Penned by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, the set’s full-color booklet consists of an extensive interview with songwriter/bandleader Stephin Merritt, as well as a wealth of old photos from the band’s creative caves. Over six 10-inches, Merritt’s visions of complicated love, forbidden love, sneaky love and dirty love are exposed again, as brilliantly and charmingly as ever.