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Album Review
My Bloody Valentine - m b v Album Cover

My Bloody Valentine - m b v

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My Bloody Valentine - m b v
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: February 02, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
On February 2, at midnight GMT, I found myself in a bit of a sticky wicket. I, alongside what appeared to be at least 99% of the worldís internet users, was sitting in front of my laptop, frantically hitting the refresh button and occasionally sharing my woe on the AP news post regarding the new My Bloody Valentine album. Kevin Shields had promised us all that we were coming closer and closer to the ridiculously long awaited third album and, quite honestly, I was deep in throes of cynicism. The man had been promising for 22 years (four years longer than Iíve been alive) and the idea that the Dublin founded band might actually drop a record seemed far too good to be true. However, when at roughly 9pm GMT on that fateful night, the band uploaded a deep blue artwork, perfectly in fitting with the cover of the seminal Loveless, it seemed like it was finally time. It was time for all of the fans to hear what could have been, what theyíve been missing out on, what My Bloody Valentine have been hiding from us for so very long. Three hours later, My Bloody Valentineís servers (which apparently havenít been updated since the last album) failed and all of the initial doubts returned. What if the album never existed? What if they were doing it all for the lolz? With those thoughts I went to sleep, in order to wake up early, to a world where the patiently waiting My Bloody Valentine fan was a thing of the past.

I woke up to discover a whole host of premature album reviews, many conclusions that had been jumped to, a full Youtube stream, and, most importantly, a nine track, 46 minute album titled m b v. I listened and I listened. I read review after review. I took in comments such as Ďitís the same as Lovelessí and Ďitís not Loveless, but were we really expecting Loveless?í. As difficult as it was, I decided not to write a review within hours of the release just because it was the thing of the moment and so now, here I am, a week later and Iíve come to the following conclusion. m b v is awesome.

Before I dive into the album, letís get a few things out of the way. Iím seventeen years old. I donít have a sense of nostalgia attached to Loveless, it didnít soundtrack my college years and Iíve never seen My Bloody Valentine live. I heard Loveless for the first time two years ago, on a friendís recommendation, and I fell in love with an album thatís innovative, influential and really damn good. However, when I was hitting that refresh button, I wasnít looking for the follow up to Loveless, I was looking for a new My Bloody Valentine album. I donít care if they wrote it back in the 90s, or if itís been written in the past two months or if it lives up to the bandís legacy. I just want a wonderful album and, this is precisely what My Bloody Valentine provide.

m b v is the sort of album that drowns out the world around you. Whateverís happening, whoever you are, once you place your earphones in and the first chord of ďShe Found NowĒ kicks off, you have no choice but to enter My Bloody Valentineís dreamy, spaced out, reverb drenched, quietly loud world. To sum up m b v, experiencing the album is like being asleep, but only if you have really wonderful vague, lucid dreams. Opener, "She Found Now" gives the record a perfect introduction. Instead of throwing the listener in right at the deep end, it slowly guides you, ebbing and flowing and constantly threatening to explode. Shields' vocals are wonderfully hypnotic and the steady, restrained wall of noise emitted from the guitars certainly compliment his tone. The song almost sounds like the passing of time and within a few moments, twenty one years are disintegrated, leaving behind only the next eight tracks to come. "Only Tomorrow" is a little more straight up, its guitar-work having a more distinct melody, and the androgynous vocals serving as little more than an aperture to the driving rhythm of the guitars.

Never once does My Bloody Valentine lose the attention of the listener. Despite the album being quite dreamy, it always demands that the listener be attentive. Left turns on the album such as the (presumably) keyboard led, vocal-less, "Is This And Yes" and the strangely pop based, Lemonheads-esque "New You" ensure that the listener knows My Bloody Valentine aren't solely focused on shoegaze, and show how brave the band are with their willingness to stray away from their established sound. It's hard to pick out highlights from the release, when an album's this great, every track's a highlight, however a few songs are simply unmissable. "In Another Way" is absolutely crazy. Who knows what sort of instrumentation is used on it, but the track manages to be simultaneously as heavy as any Converge track, whilst having a head bop inspiring, pop quality to it. Closer, "Wonder 2" is also extreme. Bringing to mind the statements about how My Bloody Valentine are one of the loudest bands on the planet, the song appears to have no clear path or focus, but is utterly triumphant with its rising, panic and almost dance-like effects. I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure one of the instruments used in the track is a helicopter. No, not some new fangled hipster instrument, an actual helicopter. Whatever it is, it leaves the listener breathless and, by the end of the track, and the end of the album, you're left with one thought only; "let's start it again".

It is impossible to review the album without a little bit of comparison with the band's sophomore release. Quite honestly, I believe that with time, people will come to accept m b v as being just as wonderful, if not better than its predecessor. Already, I believe this. Where Loveless may have snagged in terms of not deviating away from the sound that My Bloody Valentine basically invented, m b v shows that the band aren't confined by these restraints and are perfectly capable of writing an album that demonstrates how the band have developed by utilizing hints of pop, dance and straight up indie rock. A big fear I had when anticipating the album was that they would fail to be relevant to the modern scene, that they'd be stuck in the past. My Bloody Valentine flow past this easily. As well as reinventing the sound that bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Husker Du and The Stone Roses found themselves adopting from My Bloody Valentine's two initial albums, the band find themselves slipping in easily beside bands of our generation. Crystal Castles, Beach House and Cloud Nothings are all easy listening partners for this album and My Bloody Valentine are just as relevant to our scene now, as they were to the kids listening to them in '91.

This is, have no doubt about it, a wonderful album. Every last second of the release has been, of course, honed to perfection and not one track is not essential to the overall package. Whilst it's great that we live in an age in which we can download a new album from a new band at the drop of a hat, we can't deny that it has affected the way bands create music as they're all fighting to release as much music as possible in order to stay relevant. This has brought about all but the death of the perfect album, albums with no filler, albums that when over, leave you breathless and don't inspire you to want more music from the band, but make you want to listen to the album from the start, all over again; m b v is that album. I can 100% say that this album was worth the wait. Just, please Mr Shields, don't make us wait that long for our next meeting.

Recommended If You LikeMy Bloody Valentine; Crystal Castles; Beach House; Ride; everything and anything


Additional InformationTrack Listing
1. She Found Now
2. Only Tomorrow
3. Who Sees
4. Is This And Yes
5. If I Am
6. New You
7. In Another Way
8. Nothing Is
9. Wonder 2

Band Members
Kevin Shields
Colm ” CŪosůig
Debbie Googe
Bilinda Butcher

10/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 52
10:39 AM on 02/10/13
#2
nowFace
We paved the roads.
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100%?! shit might have to listen to this. Last time AP gave an album that to my knowledge was Bon Iver, and I loved that album.
01:16 PM on 02/10/13
#3
Chris Collum
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I enjoyed your analysis of the record, but I'm gonna have to take you to bat about a couple of things you said towards the end of your review. First off, I think I might disagree with you about this:
Quote:
It is impossible to review the album without a little bit of comparison with the band's sophomore release.
but I'm not entirely sure because you're a bit vague haha. Could you explain what you mean by that?

Also, this:
Quote:
As well as reinventing the sound that bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Husker Du and The Stone Roses found themselves adopting from My Bloody Valentine's two initial albums

really has me scratching my head as to what you meant, seeing as Hüsker Dü broke up before Isn't Anything came out and also made very different music than MBV does. Also, I don't really get where you're going with the Stone Roses reference either, seeing as they really were part of a different scene in Manchester and also put out their seminal self-titled album pre-Loveless.

Anyway, good review overall. I would definitely quibble with the score (I don't think I would give this any higher than a 9), but that's not a huge deal. This is certainly a very, very good album and I could not be more pleased.

It's not as good as Loveless though.
01:49 PM on 02/10/13
#4
Kelly Doherty
@_kellydoherty for the lolz
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I enjoyed your analysis of the record, but I'm gonna have to take you to bat about a couple of things you said towards the end of your review. First off, I think I might disagree with you about this:

but I'm not entirely sure because you're a bit vague haha. Could you explain what you mean by that?

Also, this:

really has me scratching my head as to what you meant, seeing as Hüsker Dü broke up before Isn't Anything came out and also made very different music than MBV does. Also, I don't really get where you're going with the Stone Roses reference either, seeing as they really were part of a different scene in Manchester and also put out their seminal self-titled album pre-Loveless.

Anyway, good review overall. I would definitely quibble with the score (I don't think I would give this any higher than a 9), but that's not a huge deal. This is certainly a very, very good album and I could not be more pleased.

It's not as good as Loveless though.
The Stone Roses released after both Isn't Anything and Loveless. I'm referring to Bob Mould and his Sugar, which is the spawn of My Bloody Valentine. But I'll edit in Sugar instead of Husker Du, if it's clearer - I imagined referring to them as Sugar would isolate people, because they wouldn't know what I was referring to.

I don't see what the confusion is. It's impossible to not compare m b v to Loveless. Everyone's comparing m b v to Loveless. It's the follow up album that everyone's been anticipating.

I give it a matter of months until you prefer this.
01:58 PM on 02/10/13
#5
Chris Collum
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The Stone Roses released after both Isn't Anything and Loveless. I'm referring to Bob Mould and his Sugar, which is the spawn of My Bloody Valentine. But I'll edit in Sugar instead of Husker Du, if it's clearer - I imagined referring to them as Sugar would isolate people, because they wouldn't know what I was referring to.

I don't see what the confusion is. It's impossible to not compare m b v to Loveless. Everyone's comparing m b v to Loveless. It's the follow up album that everyone's been anticipating.

I give it a matter of months until you prefer this.
Nah The Stone Roses definitely came out two years before Loveless.

Okay yeah that makes more sense if you're talking about Sugar, didn't pick up on that. Not a big fan of Sugar in general but I get what you're saying.

Okay well yes, obviously you're not going to be able to listen to it without thinking about Loveless. But to me at least (and this could be purely personal preference) I think it's necessary to try one's best to consider m b v on its own merits as much as possible. Whatever though, you mostly do that anyway so I'm just squabbling about semantics I suppose haha.

We shall see, but I doubt it. That's not a put-down to m b v though in any fashion.
02:02 PM on 02/10/13
#6
Kelly Doherty
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Nah The Stone Roses definitely came out two years before Loveless.

Okay yeah that makes more sense if you're talking about Sugar, didn't pick up on that. Not a big fan of Sugar in general but I get what you're saying.

Okay well yes, obviously you're not going to be able to listen to it without thinking about Loveless. But to me at least (and this could be purely personal preference) I think it's necessary to try one's best to consider m b v on its own merits as much as possible. Whatever though, you mostly do that anyway so I'm just squabbling about semantics I suppose haha.

We shall see, but I doubt it. That's not a put-down to m b v though in any fashion.
Nah, Isn't Anything came out in 1988, The Stone Roses came out 1989. Loveless came out 1991, Second Coming came out in 1994.
02:04 PM on 02/10/13
#7
vivatoto56
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Awesome read, totally agree.
02:06 PM on 02/10/13
#8
Chris Collum
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Nah, Isn't Anything came out in 1988, The Stone Roses came out 1989. Loveless came out 1991, Second Coming came out in 1994.
Oh I was talking just about the self-titled (don't really care for Second Coming at all) never mind
02:12 PM on 02/10/13
#9
Steeeve Perry
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Great review. I've listened to the album and almost nothing else since it came out and still can't tell how much I love it. But I love it quite a bit at least.
11:20 PM on 02/10/13
TheBaroness
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Great review that does this wonderful album justice.

I love how MBV just came back out of nowhere to show all these modern neo-shoegaze-whatever bands how it's done.
11:24 PM on 02/10/13
DeathOrGlory
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Jesus, you`re only 17? You`re one of my favorite reviewers on here and this one is another great one. Keep it up
12:32 AM on 02/11/13
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
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thanks MBV for shittin all over the rap game
12:34 AM on 02/11/13
Theseventhson
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thanks MBV for shittin all over the rap game
damn son
02:53 AM on 02/11/13
Jeff_Ryan
easy come and easy go, whatever
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"Wonder 2" is a half hour too short
04:48 AM on 02/11/13
theDrivingSnow
I wouldn't know.
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Good album, but not on Loveless' level, or even the Tremolo EP (12'' version).

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