There is no such thing as a typical Magnetic Fields album. Over the course of the eleven albums they have released since 1991, their sound and even genre has changed album to album and song to song. That said, their latest album, 50 Song Memoir, is like nothing else they or anyone else has released. While epic-lengthed albums aren’t a new development (their best known album, 69 Love Songs, consists, unsurprisingly, of 69 love songs), 50 Song Memoir is remarkable not for its length but for the fact that one narrative runs through the entire album. Each song marks one year in the life of Stephin Merritt, founder/leader/heart and soul of The Magnetic Fields, starting with birth and going right up to the recording of the album, which began on Merritt’s fiftieth birthday.