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Stephin Merritt, "Eban & Charly"

If you've always wondered what it would be like for the madman behindMagnetic Fields to score a dramatic gay independent feature film,here's your answer. However, if you're looking for the new MagneticFields album, this isn't it.
Of the 16 tracks here, most of them areshort themes which are only meant to take a backseat to the film.Merritt's creative usage of toy instruments and low-fi noisemakers isamazingly resourceful, but without the film to accompany, the thematicpieces simply sound rather unfinished. Only six songs here have vocals,and even those ones sound rather incomplete too. Track 5, 'Poppyland'is probably the first proper song, after a number of instrumental loopsand noises, I'm almost completely in love with "Maria Maria Maria" butit's a tease when the song "Tiny Flying Player Pianos" starts up, ithooks you in from the get-go but starts fading right before theone-minute mark. I hope he decides to use these in future full-lengthalbums in complete forms,... In all honesty, it's decent and quite anaccomplishment for a man without his band, despite being rather short(36 minutes). However, for a man who has the power to completely blowme away, I guess I may have been expecting more.