The Spinners

Holiday (Magnetic Fields, 1994)

In American, Indie Pop, Summer Albums, Thor Balanon on April 13, 2010 at 9:43 am

Chirpy, effulgent, with a love that goes on like a blister in the sun, Holiday is Stephin Merritt’s shiningest, but also one of the band’s most overlooked masterpieces. Far from the romantic-depressive mood swings of the much-lauded 69 Love Songs, Holiday is unabashedly blushing from the heat of attraction that summer brings: Under more stars than there are prostitutes in Thailand / Our hair in the air / Our lips blue from cotton candy / When we kiss it feels like a flying saucer landing. From circumnavigating desert islands to kissing in the dank libraries of London, Merritt paints a holiday that’s swashbucklingly romantic and stubbornly unforgettable. There’s foolishness in the grand gestures but what is summer but a time for foolishness, when one can always blame the sun for a lover’s blindness?

Unhappiness is treason, Merritt croons in “Strange Powers”, almost drowning in hopscotching synths. How about we follow the law this time, eh?

– Thor Balanon

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