My Bloody Valentine
Isn't Anything


4.0
excellent

Review

by Neoteric USER (86 Reviews)
October 20th, 2006 | 14 replies | 3,165 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's haunting, it's dissonant and sometimes inaccessible but what the hell? Catchy hooks? Pop melodies? This is MBV's debut album and though it doesn't compare to Loveless, it still stands well on it's own.

5 of 6 thought this review was well written

My Bloody Valentine’s Isn’t Anything came right around the shoegaze trend and became one of the leading albums in the genre (for it’s time anyway). This is the bands first album and it’s a release to break away from the band continually releasing EP’s. Though this isn’t considered as good as the classic Loveless, it still holds up well on it’s own. For those who don’t know who My Bloody Valentine are, they are a shoegaze/dream pop band from Ireland who are best known for their guitar distortion, sparingly used reverb and tremolo. Isn’t Anything is full of dream pop touches, grungy guitar tracks and noisy pop hooks. This what makes this album and it is an intensifying listen.

The band is centered around a man called Kevin Shields who is probably the main songwriter in the band, the band are adequate musicians as well. Mostly down to their creativity. The vocals are very low in the mix but you can still hear them clearly (though you can’t really hear the lyrics). Kevin doesn’t really seem like a singer but he suits the noisy peppy atmosphere of the songs. But who can blame him, as Blinda Butcher takes a role in the vocals. She has a very beautiful smooth voice and she suits better in the darker, more slower songs (example: Lose My Breath). Again, you can’t make out the lyrics but it’s in good interpretation. Kevin and Blinda’s dueling guitar sounds are great, whether one is playing chords while the other ones makes creative noisy parts, it’s all great. Their sound is so smooth together but I guess it’s Kevin who takes the role in making the more creative parts as his set-up is a lot larger than Blinda’s. The bass is really audible and along with the guitar playing the chords, keeps the music from sounding like, basically, noise. Colm is a good drummer, he doesn’t use a lot of range with his instrument but he is still impressive in a lot of places. I love his drumming in Cupid Come mostly because his beats are so simple but they really help the song out. So yeah, great musicians, perfect for this type of band.

Now, I can’t make out the lyrics and I really don’t know the right lyrics are as the band have never released their lyrics but from their main site I can see interpretations of the songs. Now, from what I can see, none of the songs have a straight forward meaning, as you don’t really know if they are dousing in metaphors or not. There is also not a lot of lyrics as the band repeat their hooks and such. It’s a bitch to really learn what the songs are about, take this passage from Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside), “Soft as snow and warm inside, penetrate then we divide, slip away forever, (do we) need you.” You can’t understand what it means and I think it’s better that way. I always feel when you listen to a song and you interpret yourself and then you find out the meaning of the song, it kind of ruins it so I’m glad that they’ve did this. Good lyrics, they seem very deep and meaningful without actually coming out and telling us what it’s about.

A lot of the tracks on here are worth a mention but the one what grabbed me first and shook me about was Lose My Breath, the same acoustic guitar part is repeated throughout the song and it feels like the world is ending. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but with the acoustic guitar, the sound seems to get louder and softer but only slightly. What really makes the song though is Blinda’s daunting vocals and the plush “ooohh”s that infect what is seen as a chorus. It’s a dark song that’s poured with pop sensibilities. The album opener Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside) really put me off when I first listened to it but I’ve grown to love it now, it seems the exact opposite of “catchy” with the constant screeching guitar effects. Cupid Come is probably one of the most accessible songs on the album, it’s a dreamy pop song and Kevin really pulls his vocals off during it. The light distorted chords are a real taker and it has such a good hook. Highly contagious this song is. Of course, the last of the songs I want to discuss is a track I just recently got into. No More Sorry is a song built around atmosphere with it’s no chord, no drums approach. It is just samples throughout with Blinda slowly singing over it. The samples, are simply haunting and Blinda really puts that simple touch to it. Every track is worth a listen really though some are good and not great.

I really liked the way the album sounded like. It’s haunting but at the same time catchy and littered with pop hooks. It flows very well as the songs don’t seem that too far apart but they sound completely different from each other. Weird eh? Well I guess all of them contain what makes a My Bloody Valentine song and that’s all I ask for. At the end of the album, the quality dropped quite a lot which is a shame. The end songs aren’t bad though, I still like listening to them but compared to the first half of the album, it fails to appear superior. Kevin and Blinda work really well together here, without one another it probably wouldn’t work. As a MBV song without a backing or some extent of noise is quite put it, lame so I’m glad there is a team of guitarists. And though it doesn’t seem important, I quite like the album’s cover and booklet. I couldn’t understand what the cover was until I looked closer. A picture of three people (I don’t know if it’s the band or not) close up to the camera blinded with dissonant light. It’s quite spectacular in a sense that you need to concentrate on it to find out what it is.

Anyway, enough with the rambling, onto what rounds the album up. This is a haunting, dissonant record besieged with sweet noise pop exterior, does that sound appealing? It better be as this is one excellent album even if it drags off in the end. This might not be a good introduction to the band (Loveless takes that throne) but it will appeal to people of the shoegaze genre and general My Bloody Valentine fans. Just one word of warning, a lot of people who I’ve talked to about the album have said they found this album dull after listening to Loveless and that maybe the case to some people, but not to me. Over and out.



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user ratings (726)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Justin Swope (4.5)
On their first studio album, My Bloody Valentine construct an immense wall of powerful but sweet noi...

derho (4.5)
An overlooked gem that changed the shape of rock and noise...

altron2095 (3)
Isn't Anything inspired a legion of imitators. One can see why, both in the strengths and weaknesses...

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...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Neoteric
October 20th 2006



3243 Comments


Hey, I wrote this review on a bit of hope from MX user Kyle and I've decided to write it in a style I don't usually use so I'd like your criticism, feedback and such.

Two-Headed Boy
October 20th 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You did a great job with the review, and this format really clicked. Well done. :thumb:

As for the album, it's no Loveless but it takes the cake.
/generic comment.

Kyle
October 20th 2006



667 Comments


Hey Derek, you might want to give this a quick proof read, there are a couple of slip-ups, such as;[quote=review]This might not be a good introduction to the album (Loveless takes that throne)[/quote]

A few glitches aside, this is pretty cool review man. I think this format could really work for you, but be careful wth repeating the same phrases too much. For example the consistent use of 'dream pop' to describe the records sound kinda disturbs the flow. As we said earlier, you have all the right ideas, but your written expression will need some time to improve.

Anyways, this is a good review, just trying to give you some constructive feedback. Keep writing man, it's always cool to see somebody so enthusiastic about it.

Neoteric
October 20th 2006



3243 Comments


Cheers for the comment Kyle, yeah, I did slip up a bit there hah. I'll see what I can do about the repeated phrases though.

TheMisterBungle
October 20th 2006



861 Comments


Great review

I love the album title
I've always kinda wanted to check these guys out
Loveless looks great



Dethtrasher
October 20th 2006



2211 Comments


Hey! I noticed that you have passed the 100 mark, congrats! :thumb:

Neoteric
October 20th 2006



3243 Comments


Heh, thanks

Zebra
Moderator
October 20th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is my favorite My Bloody Valentine album. Even though I dislike a majority of the songs "Lose My Breath" is superb and one of my favorite shoegaze songs of all time.
I must say this is one of your better reviews. Not because of it's length but because it was a smooth read and it didn't seem as choppy as your other reviews. Congrats.
Since you really seem to enjoy My Bloody Valentine I think you should check out other shoegazer bands such as Chapterhouse, Slowdive, and Ride.

Neoteric
October 20th 2006



3243 Comments


Since you really seem to enjoy My Bloody Valentine I think you should check out other shoegazer bands such as Chapterhouse, Slowdive, and Ride.
I'm planning to, are they along the same lines of MBV I guess?


Zmev
October 20th 2006



983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I take it you like this band.

Neoteric
October 20th 2006



3243 Comments


Lmao. I guess so, I've just been liking them a lot recently. I might have a go at Loveless but then again, I might not.

trustxdialect
January 6th 2007



1502 Comments


I saw this on vinyl at the store. Would it worth picking it up as such?

grungeguy88
January 6th 2007



788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

its pretty good. Of course, I like Loveless better.

SCREAMorphine
March 8th 2012



1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoy this a lot more then Loveless at times



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