Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea
Critic Score
Based on 28 reviews
2012 Ratings: #629 / 946
User Score
Based on 22 ratings
March 6, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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Beats Per Minute

The record is 15 short vignettes about lost, unattainable, suboptimal, or just plain impossible love, and The Fields nail each and every one.

The 405

Eleven albums in we expect a coherent set of well written pop songs, and that’s exactly what we’re given here - no exceeded or unmet expectations.


Love at the Bottom of the Sea is an endearing, comfortable offering from a band that will hopefully do 10 more albums. Welcome back, folks.

Consequence of Sound

While Love at the Bottom of the Sea isn’t another perfect pop album, it’s a hell of a lot closer than any of their last few releases.


In truth, this is less of an experiment and more of a return to the band’s pre-‘69 Love Songs’ days

Drowned in Sound

In not being constrained by self-imposed limits and boundaries, it plays out as maybe not the finest, but almost certainly the most natural, relaxed and joyous Magnetic Fields record in recent years.


The strongest tracks on Love at the Bottom of the Sea could have fit quite well on 69 Love Songs, with Merritt’s words as witty, tender, and biting as ever.

A.V. Club

Love At The Bottom Of The Sea is a fun and uncompromising record, but very little of it sticks in the head or the heart.


After these frontloaded highlights, it doesn't take long for Love at the Bottom of the Sea to become a rain-boot-worthy slog through water-logged mid-tempo material


Love At The Bottom Of The Sea certainly has its moments, but Merritt albums now feel like inessential appendices to a great catalogue, rather than fundamental further developments.

Coke Machine Glow

Stephin Merritt, once capable of such subtlety, such beauty in his cynicism, has produced a record that’s surprisingly shallow.

Tiny Mix Tapes

There’s no way of doing justice to this album; there’s no way to experience it in good faith. 

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Track List

  1. God Wants Us to Wait 
  2. Andrew in Drag 
  3. Your Girlfriend’s Face 
  4. Born for Love 
  5. I’d Go Anywhere With Hugh 
  6. Infatuation (With Your Gyration) 
  7. The Only Boy in Town 
  8. The Machine in Your Hand 
  9. Goin’ Back to the Country 
  10. I’ve Run Away to Join the Fairies 
  11. The Horrible Party 
  12. My Husband’s Pied-a-Terre 
  13. I Don’t Like Your Tone 
  14. Quick! 
  15. All She Cares About Is Mariachi
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Added on: December 13, 2011