My Bloody Valentine – M B V

Artist My Bloody Valentine
Album ‘MBV’
Genre Shoegaze/ Alt-Rock
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Label Pickpocket Records
Release Feb 2 2013
Rating Excellent

The simplest way to sum up my thoughts on this album are that it’s almost worth the 22 year wait since their last release ‘Loveless’. I know it’s not fair to compare ‘M B V‘ to ‘Loveless‘, but it’s bound to happen, so let’s get it out of the way early on. And to be fair, some of this stuff has been in the works since 1996, so despite the fact that it took another 17 years to finalize and release it, it’s almost a time capsule of an album. With all of that said, this is a really, really fantastic album. It’s what you would expect of an album that follows ‘Loveless‘, for the most part, with the album opener “She Found Now” sounding like it may very well have been written during the same sessions. The lush, dreamy aura is a little more sparse than anything on ‘Loveless‘ was, but it’s textbook My Bloody Valentine. That really sums up much of the album, though that’s not a bad thing at all. When you have sort of a timeless sound, it works.

Is This and Yes” acts almost as an interlude of sorts, being the most serene track on the entire album, with the lush, ambient keyboard accompanied only by Bilinda Butcher’s haunting vocals. This track kicks off sort of an ambient “section” of the album, and the album itself is really broken up into three sections (the first of which being the classic My Bloody Valentine sound, of course). The follow up track, “If I Am” finds Butcher repeatedly singing “Even if I am loved” over a heavily distorted guitar line, carrying a sense of loss with it. “New You” picks up the pace a little bit, and could have easily found itself on the ‘Lost in Translation’ soundtrack.

The third section of the album, which is the more, umm, interesting section, kicks off with the dancer beat of “In Another Way“, which only sort of gives you an idea of what’s to come. If you’re a long-time fan of the band, you’re probably familiar with the jungle/drum ‘n’ bass ideas the Kevin Shields hinted at in the 90s, and while they’re not found here, this last section definitely has some elements. The two closing tracks on the album show those elements of experimentation, and while they’re definitely the odd tracks on the record, they grew on me.

It’s impossible to have any sort of discussion about shoegaze, as a genre, without talking about My Bloody Valentine, and as such, there were very high expectations and hopes surrounding this album. In my opinion, ‘M B V‘ lives up to the hopes, though the final two tracks (“Nothing Is” and “Wonder 2“) do feel pretty out of place. Over all, an absolutely great album, and I only hope that we don’t have to wait another quarter of a decade for more new music. – Shanexedge