My Heart Keeps Singing Sweet Songs To You And It Won't Shut Up
August 26, 2012 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs, 14 year old Californian Gal Musette has decided she can do them one better with her 70 Love Songs project.

With 27 songs in the can, she hopes to record the 70th song with Stephin Merritt. The band has already invited her to open for a few dates in November.

(in chronological order)

1. Is It Real?
2. Negative Nancy
3. Luisa
4. Airplane
5. The Collector
6. December
7. Wandering
8. Painted On The Walls
9. Tell Me More
10. Fable
11. How Great It Must Be
12. Little Sister (Cow Jumping Over The Moon
13. Rush (Edward Adams)
14. Endure
15. Our Way
16. My Heart Won't Shut Up
17. Nimble Bedinza
18. I Forgot
19. Oh My Wishes
20. Some Solemn Summer
21. It's January
22. Sing Me Your Sweet Song
23. One Lonely Gal
24. I'm Feeling Sick
25. Moon Song
26. If You Loved Me As You Love Your Guitar
27. Bluest Of Blue
posted by yellowbinder (17 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the exercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.

(Actually this is pretty neat, and I can say without fear of contradiction that every one of these songs is better than anything I could have written at 14.)
posted by DaDaDaDave at 2:12 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hm. 69 Love Songs probably holds spots 1 through 3 on my favorite albums of all time list. And this young woman clearly has talent and ambition, and I can imagine folks enjoying this. But I couldn't get into any of the tunes I just listened to. Her vocal delivery really turns me off, which is maybe an ironic thing to say because I'm sure people have said the same about The Magnetic Fields.

But very little about this sounded Magnetic Fields-influenced to me. It sounds almost like she was inspired by someone's description of the album 69 Love Songs but never actually listened to it or read any of the lyrics, let alone understood what makes it so good, and then she went and listened to a bunch of like Regina Spektor and Jason Mraz or something instead. 69 Love Songs is so much more than just lots of short songs about love with ukuleles.

But this is a cool thing for a 14-year-old to do and I am jealous that she gets to open for them.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:16 PM on August 26, 2012

Some sweet songs in there. Kid may have to wait for more heartache/hearbreak in her life if she's going for 70 though.
posted by noshorning at 2:19 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm going to do one better than Beethoven by writing ten symphonies. Man, I rock so hard.
posted by Decani at 3:07 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

...and wait 'til you guys hear my track with four minutes and thirty-four seconds of silence!
posted by Earthtopus at 3:35 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yes the pitch is easily scoff-able (I did too). But these are legitimately great.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:42 PM on August 26, 2012

Jason Mraz?
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:11 PM on August 26, 2012

That is to say: I'm not sure how 69 Love Songs isn't just lots of short songs about love with ukeleles (and other instruments). It just happens to be really well written and really well executed.
posted by wemayfreeze at 4:16 PM on August 26, 2012

Jason Mraz?

Daniel Johnston?

I really like her voice - I think it has a strong sense of character to it. She's got a knack for writing catchy songs. I think 14 is really the exact age to be writing 70 love songs. Everything is very intense when you're 14.

Very cool that the band is enthusiastic about her and her project - I think her sound is a nice complement to the Magnetic Fields'.
posted by capricorn at 5:04 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh wemayfreeze, I didn't realize you were (probably) replying to something in ludwig_van's post. Anyway, she reminds me vaguely of Daniel Johnston.
posted by capricorn at 5:10 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Regina Spektor and Jason Mraz

These two things do not go together.
posted by naoko at 6:16 PM on August 26, 2012

I'm not sure how 69 Love Songs isn't just lots of short songs about love with ukeleles (and other instruments)

Well I'm not going to write the essay it would take to fully explicate the genius of 69 Love Songs, but to start with I'd describe the album as an extended deconstruction of the concept of the love song and all of its associated signifiers rather than simply a collection of songs about love. The album's wikipedia page has this quote from Stephin Merritt: "69 Love Songs is not remotely an album about love. It's an album about love songs, which are very far away from anything to do with love."

It plays with things like gender, musical genre, and cliches in a way that I don't think this stuff approaches. Merritt's songwriting frequently employs humor and irony, which tends to be wrapped up in the particular, often deadpan or almost quaintly self-restrained and unaffected vocal delivery of the various singers on the album, which I think these songs lack. And his formalist approach to song structure and lyric-writing recalls the early 20th-century American composers of popular music in a way that I don't think this does either.

So this stuff sounds to me like a very limited reflection of a particular facet of 69 Love Songs that misses most of what makes that album (and Merritt's songwriting in general) special. Other than the number of tracks, the presence of a couple of acoustic instruments, and some (often overbearing) twee-ness I don't see much that connects this collection of songs to 69 Love Songs any more than any random assortment of pop songs. It's not that a 14-year-old lacks the vast life experience that allowed Stephin Merritt to create 69 Love Songs; it's that she lacks his understanding of and facility with cultural and musical tropes.
posted by ludwig_van at 6:19 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs.
posted by the_artificer at 6:31 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Acoustic guitar, if you think I play hard,
Well you could have belonged to Steve Earle,
Or Charo or Gwar. I could sell you tomorrow.
Just bring me back my girl."

I'm just saying.
posted by etc. at 7:21 PM on August 26, 2012

This is as good as most records I listen to, which is to say it's astonishing that a 14-year-old could do it.

Now if only she'd set her sights on a true masterpiece like Distant Plastic Trees....
posted by escabeche at 7:25 PM on August 26, 2012

Good on her! The inspiration of one great project need not crowd out the rest.

Cause I – I love it when you sing to me.
And you - you can sing me anything.
posted by bicyclefish at 11:46 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

65 songs about Joe.

(I really like these.)
posted by Cocodrillo at 4:27 AM on August 27, 2012

« Older This is just to say...   |   Flipping cat physics Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments