Artist: Magnetic Fields Track: "Three-Way" Album: Distortion Listen

Everyone who hears this record will draw comparisons to The Jesus & Mary Chain's Psycho Candy, a lethargic, noisy record that replicates the sound and process of nails on a chalkboard. But latest from Magnetic Fields is essentially, purposefully more accessible, as Stephin Merritt remains concerned with how pop music is heard and enjoyed.

This track, the album's first, sets the tone for most of the record, which is covered in reverb and levels of distorted fuzz. The only drawback to what follows is that Merritt and company don't always push things far enough; what begins as an ambitious, experimental album becomes a set of so-so songs with a gimmick that wears thin in many places. At times, this sounds like a remix album -- like the indie-rock version of a chopped & screwed concept -- rather than a coherent project using tone and drone as integral parts of the songwriting process.