In fact (again apropos given Magnet's world record), the one adjective that comes to mind over and over again on relistening to the album is buoyant. That is not to say, however, naïve. The song craftsmanship is tight throughout, with "You Got Me"'s brilliant fingerpicking and horns offset with the string quartet and oboe of "Count." Buoyant goes a little overboard in the cover of Bob Marley's "She's Gone," including whistle chorus and woodblock percussion. It's like a meringue, so airy that it threatens to dissolve into nothing at every turn. It holds together somehow, but I sincerely hope a full Magnet/Marley tribute album isn't in the works.
Is this going to be the album that sends Magnet up the charts, to the toppermost of the poppermost? Unlikely. For all the airiness, there is a depth of sadness and empathy in the lyrics that grounds the album in an un-poplike sensibility. So it is that a wine bottle solo in "Lucid" takes on melancholy resonance that belie the rest of the album's grin. And this is the ultimate joy of The Simple Life: it bears close examination and re-examination and brings new pleasures in each new light, all while still remaining a hummable pop masterpiece. So, probably no pop stardom for Magnet. But maybe the beginning of a beautiful friendship for the lucky listeners who wind their way into this album.