Stephin Merritt talks about love songs; download free MP3 of "The Book of Love"

Stephin Merritt talks about love songs; download free MP3 of AVC: What are some of the big clichés you try to avoid in writing about this subject? SM: I don’t think there are any clichés I try to avoid.AVC: What are some of the big clichés you try to avoid in writing about this subject?

SM: I don’t think there are any clichés I try to avoid. As soon as I spot a cliché, I go for it. I feel like clichés are the most useful thing in songwriting. They’re the tool on which you build all the rest of the song. Clichés that other people should try to avoid, I suppose, are rhyming “dance” with “romance,” or putting the word “love” at the end of a line and having to rhyme it. That’s about it. If you want to write a love song, you need to not try to write it for a particular person in a particular situation. It needs to be vague, otherwise you’re going to fall into trap after trap of trying to rhyme with somebody’s name. Keep it vague. That’s the T-shirt from this article.

Read the interview at the Onion AV Club and pre-order your limited-edition vinyl 69 Love Songs box set in the Merge store now. Orders of the box set will ship on or around the April 20 release date.

And, as a special preview, download the newly re-mastered for vinyl MP3 of "The Book of Love!"