Although The Magnetic Fields are, in fact, a full-fledged band, the majority of instruments on their albums and all of the songwriting is done by songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist Stephin Merritt. The über-talented Merritt has been releasing a steady stream of music under The Magnetic Fields moniker since 1990, the last of which was 1999’s triple-album 69 Love Songs (Merge). During that time and since, the prolific Merritt released music through various side projects such as The 6ths, Gothic Archies and Future Bible Heroes, in addition to scoring numerous film soundtracks. i is the first Magnetic Fields release in five years and first ever for the eclectic Nonesuch Records label. This entire album is made up of 14 introspective tracks that all begin with the letter "i", so I don't think it's too hard to figure out how the title was chosen. Merrit's deep croon can be heard throughout, beckoning the listener in with each passing breath. There's something sage-like about his understanding of language and emotion and I find it absolutely captivating. This is an album to put on in two situations: one, when you're chilling out and want something soothing to listen to while you go about your business, and two, something to put on when you have the need to put effort into your enjoyment and the desire to pour over incredibly thoughtful and intelligent lyrics. Either way, you're in for a memorable experience.

The Magnetic Fields