Review Summary: I feel like mbv had great potential, but ended very lazily.
I listened to mbv again. This is the third time I've started listening to it and the first time I've finished it in its entirety. It's hard to give an overall rating to the album as a whole. I, so badly, want for it to be the greatest album in the world. Over 21 years have passed since Loveless, and the anticipation of a new My Bloody Valentine album was astounding. mbv is broken down into three distinct sections, all being heavily diversified from themselves.
The first three songs are the easiest to listen to. They're nothing too out of the ordinary for the band. In fact, they're exactly what I expected all of mbv to sound like: thick, fuzzy guitars, low volume drum loops, and soft vocals resting within the wall of sound that is so signature to Kevin Shields' style. The production of the first section is beautiful and the songs themselves delivered everything I wanted them to.
The fourth track, "Is this and Yes", marks a change in the style of the album. The thick walls of fuzz are exchanged for space-y synths, swirling around Belinda's delicate vocals. The song is minimal and simplistic; nothing really changes in the five minutes it's playing. The two songs that follow keep a slightly similar style. Less distortion and more repetition. The chords change very drastically, but the patterns remain constant. While this section is more difficult to listen to than the first, it's still a riff-driven set of songs that is easy to appreciate. The same cannot be said for the final triplet.
"In Another Way" is a clutter of drum loops, fragmented vocals, and choppy guitars. It's very uncomfortable to listen to and I was anxious to get through it, in hopes that the last two tracks would have more to offer. I was thoroughly disappointed when track 8 repeats three notes for four minutes. It was almost comical; it sounded like the soundtrack to an arcade game. Once again, I had hope. What would the last track to an album that has been anticipated for over two decades sound like?
Pretty much like the two previous tracks. Flanged drum loops, fragmented vocals, and choppy guitars. Maybe My Bloody Valentine didn't know how to end this landmark album. Maybe they didn't want people to enjoy the end. I don't know. If the middle set of songs had been more of an experimental point in the album and lead into a strong ending, it would have been nearly perfect. I would have appreciated the middle and found it necessary to prepare for the greatness of the last section. Instead, the middle of mbv is an unfortunate sign of the weak ending to follow. The album overall, isn't bad. I just expected much better after 20 years. I feel like mbv had great potential, but ended very lazily.