Following a pseudo-major label stint on Nonesuch Records, Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields are once again back where they started out on Merge Records. With this comes news that the eclectic experimental pop ensemble will be revisiting the "signature mix of synths and acoustic sounds" that brought them widespread success in the '90s through the classics Holiday and 69 Love Songs with a brand new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. "Andrew In Drag" is its first single and if it truly exemplifies what Merritt has in store for loyal listeners this time around, he and Merge weren't pulling at their heartstrings in jest with that press release. Short and succinct, "Andrew In Drag" flutters across your speakers on an air of bubbly modulations and cheeky homoerotic lyrics ("I've always been a lady's man and I don't have to brag, but I've become a mama's boy for Andrew in drag...") So, yeah... Pretty much your typical Magnetic Fields fair here. The return to form is still welcome and will surely appease listeners who may have been put off by the bands' last two releases (the distortion pedal-heavy, uh -- Distortion -- and the minimalist acoustic-folk affair, Realism.) Nostalgia not withstanding, "Andrew In Drag" leaves you wondering if The Magnetic Fields have another classic left in them or if this is just Stephin Merritt's attempt to recreate past magic.
The Magnetic Fields - "Andrew in Drag"