The Magnetic Fields is an indie pop band fronted by Stephin Merritt. Their best known work is the 1999 triple ConceptAlbum ''69 Love Songs.'' Merritt's lyrics are often [[DeadpanSnarker sarcastic, bitter, and humorous]].

!!The Magnetic Fields provides examples of the following tropes:

* AnchoredShip: PlayedForLaughs in the song "The One You Really Love":
-->''I gaze into your eyes of blue\\
But their beauty is not for me\\
You're thinking of someone who's gone\\
You're dreaming of the one you really love\\
You're dreaming of...the corpse you really love!''
* AntiLoveSong: Over two-thirds of ''69 Love Songs'' falls into this trope, with titles like "How Fucking Romantic," "Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits," "A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off," and "The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be." And that's just the first disc!
** Hell, most of Merritt's entire discography falls into this.
** Also occasionally subverted into actual love songs, as with "Papa Was A Rodeo."
** Their debut single, "100,000 Fireflies" is a weird kind of subversion of this trope, being at once an earnest expression of love and something much darker:
-->''You won't be happy with me,\\
But give me one more chance.\\
You won't be happy anyway.''
* AxCrazy: Merritt seems to be fond of this. Such characters appear in ''Yeah! Oh Yeah'', ''Your Girlfriend's Face'' and ''California Girls'' (the latter with an actual ax).
* AttractiveBentGender: The entire point of the song "Andrew In Drag".
* BreakUpSong: "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend"
* BusbyBerkeleyNumber: "Busby Berkeley Dreams"
* BeingGoodSucks: The reasoning behind ''I Wish I Had An Evil Twin''. Having an evil twin would allow the singer to have bad deeds done for him without feeling guilty about it.
* CatsAreMean: "A Cat Named Dionysus", about Merritt's childhood pet, plays it straight.
--->''He hated me, 'cause I loved him.''
* CommonMeter: Most of "Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget" and "Two Kinds Of People" are in common meter.
* ConceptAlbum:
** ''The Charm of the Highway Strip'' consists of songs dealing mostly with travelling and transportation.
** ''69 Love Songs'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** All the songs on ''i'' start with "I."
** ''Distortion'' is, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin distorted]], and ''Realism'' uses real acoustic instruments. Apparently he named the albums after the thing people were most likely to complain about.
** ''50 Song Memoir'' is an autobiographical account of Merritt's life up to his 50th birthday.
* DeadpanSnarker: Hooooooo boy.
-->''So you, quote, "love", unquote, me?''
* DrowningMySorrows: "Reno Dakota"
* DrunkenSong: "Too Drunk to Dream"
* EmoTeen: Discussed in "I Don't Want To Get Over You"
-->''I could make a career of being blue\\
I could dress in black and read Camus\\
Smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth like I was seventeen\\
That would be a scream...''
* TheEeyore: Stephen Meritt comes across this way with his baritone vocals and self-effacing demeanor.
* EmpathicEnvironment: Taken UpToEleven in "I Don't Believe in the Sun"
-->''The moon to whom the poets croon has given up and died\\
Astronomy will have to be revised''
* EvilTwin: "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin I Wish I Had an Evil Twin]]"
* FlowersOfRomance: "I'm Sorry I Love You"
-->''A single rose in your garden dwells''\\
''Like any rose, it's not itself''\\
''It is my love in your garden grows''\\
''But let's pretend it's just a rose.''
* {{Gayngst}}: In an interview, Merritt lamented that most of the gay men his age he knew had died of AIDS.
* GenderBlenderName: According to WordOfGod, "Mike" in "Papa Was A Rodeo" is a woman.
-->"Papa Was a Rodeo," as should be explained in the box set book, is (in my mind) sung by a man, who resembles a Lee Hazelwood character, to a woman named Mike, as Nancy Sinatra's character was called in "Wild Angels." It is thus explicitly a Lee & Nancy [[ShoutOut tribute]], with an actual lyric reference, however roundabout, which is more than I usually do.
* GenreRoulette: ''69 Love Songs'' contains nearly every genre of love song you can care to name.
** ''Get Lost'' runs the gamut from {{Shoegazing}} ("Famous"), SynthPop ("Smoke and Mirrors"), {{Slowcore}} ("Why I Cry"), JanglePop ("Love is Lighter Than Air"), Noise Pop ("The Village in the Morning"), folk ("With Whom to Dance?"), DreamPop ("The Dreaming Moon") and many more.
* GodIsLoveSong: "Kiss Me Like You Mean It," though it's somewhat of a subversion in having God return the affection physically.
* GratuitousFrench: Fully half of the rather short "Underwear" is this.
* IAmTheBand: Stephin Merritt. Although there are other recurring members, such as Daniel Handler, the real life identity of [[Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents Lemony Snicket]]. Merritt's other band, The Gothic Archies, released an album of [[FilkSong songs about A Series Of Unfortunate Events]]. Drummer/vocalist/business manager Claudia Gonson is the non-Merritt musician who's had the most staying power.
** The band is indeed dominated by Merritt's personality, and they've recorded barely any songs not authored by him. However, Merritt doesn't sing a word on the first two albums and only does about a third of the vocals in concert these days, the rest alternating between Claudia Gonson and Shirley Simms.
*** Specifically, Susan Anway is the singer on the first two albums, while on ''69 Love Songs'' vocals alternate between Merritt, Gonson, Simms, Dudley Klute and L.D. Beghtol.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: All the tracks on ''i'' all begin with the letter "I".
* ILoveTheDead: "Zombie Boy"
* IllBoy: The song "Weird Diseases" was written about Merritt's own battles with epilepsey, hyperacusis, and various other medical disorders he experienced throughout his life.
* InstructionalTitle: "How to Say Goodbye", "How to Play the Synthesizer"
* IntercourseWithYou: "Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits" and "Three-Way" are less than subtle examples.
* InTheStyleOf: ''Distortion'' is essentially an album-long homage to ''Music/{{Psychocandy}}'' by Music/TheJesusAndMaryChain.
* LastSecondWordSwap: Two from "Fido, Your Leash Is Too Long": "you scare me out of my wits when you do that shiht-zu" and "I don't care what you fock-shounds do."
* LongTitle: "The Flowers She Sent and the Flowers She Said She Sent".
* TheLostLenore: The narrator's crush from "The One You Really Love" has a serious case of this.
* LoveAtFirstSight: "Don't Look Away" gives this a creepy twist by being a melodramatic ode to someone Merritt's narrator merely held eye contact with for a few seconds in a crowd.
* LoveIsADrug: The entirety of the lyrics of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OrCxAIm-Bw "Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin"]].
* LovesMyAlterEgo: "Andrew in Drag", about a guy who's in love with his best friend's drag persona.
* LyricalDissonance: A staple of much of Merritt's songwriting. He's even said he does this on purpose so the songs can fit whatever what mood you're in, depending on whether you listen to the tune or the lyrics.'
** "100,000 Fireflies" is a very lovely-sounding song driven by Susan Anway's beautiful vocals. The opening lyrics are "I have a mandolin / I play it all night long / It makes me want to kill myself" and it doesn't get much more positive from there.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: "A Pretty Girl Is Like..." keeps getting its similes mixed up until it finally concludes that a pretty girl is like... [[ShapedLikeItself a pretty girl]].
* MinisculeRocking: Several songs on ''69 Love Songs'' hover around the 1-minute mark. "Roses" clocks in at 28 seconds.
* NewSoundAlbum: The albums following ''69 Love Songs'' did away with signature synthesizers and ventured into various new styles, with mixed approval.
* [[TheCoverChangesTheGender The Original Changes The Gender]]: Merritt frequently writes from both male, female, gay and straight perspectives, and with both male and female singers in the band happy to sing from either perspective... let's just say it never gets boring.
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder: "Yeah! Oh, Yeah!"
-->'''Her:''' ''Are you out of love with me?\\
Are you longing to be free?\\
Do I drive you up a tree?''\\
'''Him:''' ''Yeah! Oh, yeah!''
* RichBitch: The narrator in "Zebra," big time.
--> ''We've got so many tchotchkes, we've practically emptied the Louvre''
--> ''In most of our palaces, there's hardly room to maneuver''
--> ''Now I shan't go to Bali today, I must stay home and Hoover up the gold dust...''
--> ''But that doesn't mean we're in love.''
* RoyalWe: PlayedForLaughs in "For We Are The King Of The Boudoir."
* ShoutOut:
** "Suddenly There Is A Tidal Wave" says, "We must have been the butt of all the jokes in the world/For trying to live like Literature/PippiLongstocking."
** The opening to "Epitaph for My Heart" references the 'do not remove cover' warning label found on most electrical appliances. There's also a reference to the Brill Building later on.
** "The Death Of Ferdinand De Saussure" shouts out not only the titular linguist, but justifies his death by saying "This is for [[Creator/{{Motown}} Holland/Dozier/Holland!]]"
** "Acoustic Guitar":
-->''Acoustic guitar, if you think I play hard\\
Well, you could have belonged to Music/SteveEarle\\
Or Charo or Music/{{Gwar}}, I could sell you [[PainfulRhyme tomor]]-\\
-row, so bring me back my girl''
** "Foxx & I", a tribute to former Ultravox frontman John Foxx.
* SkeletalMusician: Referenced in "Xylophone Track": "I can play my ribcage like a xylophone."
* StalkingIsLove: "The Night You Can't Remember" is arguably a case of this.
* StraightGay: Stephin Merritt again.
* TakeThat: In "It Could Have Been Paradise" Stephen Merritt alludes to Shakespears Sister ripping off one of his songs: Siobhan Fahey, the main member of Shakespears Sister, wanted to cover Future Bible Heroes' "Hopeless" but rewrite the lyrics and take half the songwriting credit and royalties. Merritt denied permission, but the song appeared on the next Shakespears Sister album anyway, with altered lyrics and no credit given to Merritt or the other members of the group. In the song, he compares this to an earlier incident where a boyfriend of his mother set his lyrics to music without his permission in an attempt to impress her:
--> He stole my song, better back off mister
--> Fast forward two decades,
--> Same thing happened, but with Shakespears Sister
* TitleOnlyChorus: "Three-Way" is a title only ''song''.
* TriangRelations: Love triangles are a common feature, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMkzagAsgyU I'd Go Anywhere With Hugh]] is a rare type two song.
* UncommonTime: Most notably "Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin," written in ''21/8''
* WhamLine: Not uncommon in Merritt's songbook but perhaps the most dramatic case is "Yeah! Oh, Yeah!" which starts out as an AntiLoveSong but then dives straight into Wham Territory by the end.
--> ''What a dark and dreary life! [[spoiler: Are you reaching for a knife? Could you really kill your wife?]] Yeah, oh yeah!''
* WriteWhatYouKnow: The entire point of ''50 Song Memoir''.