Review Summary: The masters of shoegaze arrive to a different world in style.
My Bloody Valentine - M B V
It's mind-blowing to think that the long-awaited follow-up to Loveless has been on the minds of fascinated critics and adoring shoegazers alike since 1991. To put it in perspective, My Bloody Valentine were reinventing the genre when bands like Ride, Lush, and the fantastic Slowdive were still testing the waters of what could be done with the genre. Even with Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine being the two top-tier shoegaze bands it was clear which band was more ambitious. With all that in mind, putting that music in the context of 2013 would be a herculean feat, one that the long-awaited M B V might just conquer. In fact, calling M B V long-awaited would be an understatement. Listening to M B V when it was released was a strange experience, the anticipation was high, My Bloody Valentine's official website crashed so many times that fans were practically pulling their hair out in frustration. Then all of a sudden it was just there, and just like that it was as though the entirety of the internet was silenced. In a world full of updates and stream of consciousness first impressions, M B V took us back to a time when we didn't do all this, we just listened. Quite the listen it was, the moment the first track plays it's as though time melts away and you're in 1996. There's simply no other way to put it, track after track affirms that My Bloody Valentine have created a work that sounds as though it was made in another time and yet sounds completely compelling in 2013.
That's not to say it's a nostalgia trip, far from it. The tracks that are there see My Bloody Valentine taking shoegaze to places it hasn't quite gone ever before. Many songs flirt with new directions, bringing a new element to the already stunningly layered sounds that captivated listeners all those years ago. Especially the last three tracks, which fuse shoegaze with Drum 'N Bass of all things. Yes, you read that right. It's pulsing, it's pounding, it sounds like a ***ing jet engine. In other words, it's polarizing in the most fantastic kind of way.
Overall, 22 years on and My Bloody Valentine are still creating sounds that captivate us and will make listeners want to pick up a guitar and a distortion pedal. M B V is just that awe-inspiring, it's a record that we'll be talking about for a very long time. My Bloody Valentine have completely revitalized shoegaze, and I'm damn lucky I got to hear it for myself when it was released on that fantastic day. Ratings simply don't capture the importance of this album, buy it from somewhere, anywhere, and hope to all hell that we get to hear another My Bloody Valentine album before we're all 47.
Your move, Slowdive.