Album Review: My Bloody Valentine – MBV
Today, Kevin Shields is probably having a nice little chuckle. For years and years we have been mocking him. Doubting him. We’ve all joked about the mythical third album of My Bloody Valentine, and how it will never come out, and how it will be shitty jungle music or something. But here we are. MBV is out. It’s not shitty jungle music. And it turns out he was right all along. Great albums do take time.
So the dust has settled. After all the waiting and teasing. The Break up. The reunion. The constant promises of ”It will be here soon”. The announcement and following server crashes. All of that is behind us now, and were left with their first release in 22 years. Is it as good as Loveless? Hard to say. But it comes pretty damn close.
The first 3 tracks seem simple enough. “Ah! This sounds like loveless!” you may quip as you listen to tracks like “Only Tomorrow”. You’re wrong of course, it only seems like Loveless to lull you into a false sense of security. “Pretty safe album” you may think. And then ‘Is this and yes’ turns up and blows any resemblance of the old MBV out of the window. Slowly and surely. Track after track, every preconception about the band slowly unravels and at the end of the album you are left with something much more exciting.
It’s easy to just judge albums by individual tracks. And yes, there are amazing tracks in there. ‘If i am’ and ‘new you’, are calm psychedelic walls of noise. ‘nothing is’ is a downright ugly sonic assault. And the best track on the album ‘wonder 2′ is a bit like someone singing a lullaby on a wing of a fighter jet. But that’s not the point. Listening to this as an album, the whole 47 minutes & 9 tracks of it, feels like no other record has felt since, well Loveless. transporting you to a world where traditional rock conventions don’t exist, and lyrics don’t have to make sense as long as they’re drowned in tremolo. This album conveys the same sense of “What the fuck am I listening to” as Loveless did the first time we all listened to it. And that’s an achievement in itself.
But 22 years is a long time for an album. So yes, it hasn’t lived up to all the massive hype. It hasn’t changed the world of music as we know it. But it doesn’t need to. Sometimes albums can be just fucking great to listen to. MBV is fucking great to listen to. Well, obviously not live unless you want to live without hearing for the rest of your life. Anyway. MBV is great. Listen to it. See you in 2035.
Rating: 4/5 Tremolo Bars (****)
Top Three Tracks: ‘Only Tomorrow’, ‘If I am’, ‘Wonder 2′