on 31 August 2013
I'm a new MBV fan, having just gotten into them upon ordering this release a few weeks ago. I'm not going to waste time rambling about how great the album is, but instead how great the reissue is, since there are a lot of mixed reviews about it on here and I'd like to help clarify things.
First off, this album turned me into a MBV fan instantly. Wow, what an album. It got me to purchase their others right away. It just shows that anyone can be turned on to any band at any time, no matter when their music came out. Now, about the reissue. When I first popped Disc 1 into my CD player, I found the sound to be a bit flat, so since there was the luxury of a second disc with the same material on it, I put that one in to see if it would sound any better. Oh, it did. Way more dynamics and a wall of noisy guitars surrounding the listener even during the quieter tracks.
Now a lot of the mixed reviews bring up the fact that the labels on Disc 1 and Disc 2 are actually mislabeled. Disc 1 is stated in the booklet as being digitally remastered from the original tapes, and Disc 2 is supposed to be a new analog master, but from my listening experience, Disc 2 does indeed sound like the digital remaster that Disc 1 is supposed to be. Another issue that people have with this is the supposed "glitch" that you hear in "What You Want" on Disc 1 (the analog master). Personally, I favor Disc 2 whenever I listen to this album so I haven't given Disc 1 a fair listen, but even if there is a glitch, who cares? If Kevin Shields had reissued this album with just the digital remaster, there would be only praise about it, because it sounds really good. I haven't heard the original 1991 CD, but from what I've read on message boards, apparently Disc 2 here is that, but a little louder. That's fine by me. It's not overly loud, and if you listen to it on a good pair of headphones, you'll be submerged in the gorgeous shoegazing soundscape of MBV for 45 minutes, and be proud that you bought this reissue in the end. And I'm sure if I do ever get down to listening to Disc 1, the glitch probably won't bother me that much. It's not that big a deal, guys. Stop giving an excellent reissue such negative reviews.
By the way, the reissue of "Isn't Anything" sounds just as good, and their new album "m b v" is just mindblowing.
on 24 November 2004
A group of five friends saw My Bloody Valentine in Exeter in 1990 (1/2). I had listened to the group for years before, but had never seen them. I was completely blown away by their performance (and background video - very windows media player screensaver experience as I remember). Two of my friends left after being blown away by silverfish,the support band, but the rest of us experienced what was to become a spine chilling, once in a life time experience (and still is, thinking back to it) - The only problem with the concert was there were so few there!! I'm pleased to say I was there to see one of the last performances of group
Buy this album and listen while watching media player screensavers!!
on 5 February 2006
This is quite simply one of the greatest albums I have ever heard. Nothing else sounds remotely like it, even other MBV material. I bought it back in 1991 when it first came out and it has rarely been far from my turntable/CD player/iPod over the last 15 years.
Imagine it's early morning and your alarm clock has gone off. Then you realise it's Saturday and you don't have to go to work. You turn the alarm off and roll over, not quite awake, not quite asleep. The feeling you have at this point is what "Loveless" sounds like.
The cover has a picture of a purpley-pinky-bluey guitar, all fuzzy and warped and psychedelic. This is the only album I have ever heard that sounds EXACTLY how the cover looks. And it is brilliant. Turn it up and it's an astonishing visceral thrill, turn it down and it's a soothing, redemptive balm of sound. Gorgeous.
on 29 November 2006
This was a interesting buy for me. After hearing "Sometimes" on the Lost in Translation OST, I knew that I loved this band. This has to be one of my more impulsive buys. I bought both Loveless and Isn't Anything after hearing only one track.
But I have no regrets. This is the sort of album you can put on in a dark room an just sit there in awe for about an hour, just letting their stunningly gravelly soundscapes wash over you.
If you are in any doubt about which album to get if you are new to MBV I would definitely recommend this over Isn't Anything, but both album will impress...
on 24 May 2004
Before I heard 'To Here Knows When' on The Nations Compilation on Lamaq Live, I had been living on a diet of safe and reliable music, never straying too far from the constraints of Radiohead and the like. It took a while to register, I was tired at the time, I couldn't comprehend what I was hearing.
I still can't to this day.
Well, I went out and tracked down 'Loveless', I ended up getting it on the net, but when it finally arrived, it totally changed my slant on music. 'Loveless' is a hazy, dream-inducing wave of sound, with irresistable melodies, interwoven with barely there vocals, and pulsing drums. I had never heard such use of the electric guitar until I heard My Bloody Valentine...Kevin Shields rather than Matt Bellamy is my guitar idol now, and always will be. Nothing really seems adequate in comparison with this, not these days. Maybe other 80s greats such as The J&MC, The Pixies, The Cure, and others can (especially Disintegration, Robert Smiths masterpiece)...but until someone creates music that can make you tap your foot, whilst drifting off (Soon), music that can deafen you and make you smile (Only Shallow), and music that can take you to a different world alltogether (To Here Knows When), then 'Loveless' will have to do.
Someone once said in a review that 'Loveless' is like being back in the womb...but if it is, then I'm a Buddhist being reincarnated, because I can still feel heaven...
on 8 February 2013
Loveless can be impenetrable at first: it seems tuneless and lacking in conventional pop songs. But give it time and listen to the entire album and it begins to make sense. I like music or TV that requires you to make an effort, whilst this is not for everyone, it can be hugely rewarding. Loveless is an astonishing album and for me it can sound different each time. Even 22 years later, no one has surpassed what Kevin Shields achieves with the guitar here. Simply put he reinvents what the guitar is capable of. That they could return with something as great as m b v is cause for celebration.
Have really 20 years past since Kevin Shields and co firmly planted the sonic terror "Loveless" into the hands of Alan McGee at Creation Records? The record owner had by that time been driven to distraction working with the band and promptly dropped them from the label. He has attacked them ever since describing their reunion in 2008 as "nostalgic cabaret" and has recently compared Shields to Charlotte Church! There must be some latent sympathy with the tortured McGee since Shields perfectionism was legendary not least as he attempted in a Brian Wilson-esc fashion to get the sounds in his head transplanted into a studio context. The result would see days of the band locked away producing nothing on tape and Creation record executives barred from the recordings. Indeed more latterly the oft promised and almost legendary remaster of "Loveless" has been subject to more delays than the Arriva timetable with some eight release dates promised in the past 18 months. Many doubt it will ever appear, but it begs the question does it need to?
"Loveless" despite its chaotic genesis is as a near as damn it to rock perfection that you will find on a vinyl disk. This is a record devoid of guitar solo's, simple chord structures and traditional melodies. The clear intent behind it was to deconstruct the standard rock song by overlaying it with a plethora of manipulated sound frameworks and audible intransigence. Shields use of backward reverb, barely audible drums, swirling and twisted guitar instrumentation and all other kinds of studio wizardry was brewed up in to a sonic stew which sometimes borders on the overwrought but often is touched by the gods. The whole thing evades categorization with the term "shoe-gaze" a convenient label that no longer fits. Let us start at the end since the epic final track "Soon" that prefigures the baggy dance-oriented music of the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses yet its glorious seven minutes is much more than a mere precursor. It starts off with a drum roll, bursts into action and then that famous coda begins leading to a massive cacophony of Shields "glide guitar" and the erotically sweet vocals of one of rocks best singers Blinda Butcher. Jump back to the opener the revolutionary "Only Swallow" where you are literally soaked in the huge wall of sound that literally smashes into you ears. When this record was first placed on a turntable in 1991 the needle was set to the beginning since your reviewer thought this couldn't be right? Repeated listens however engulf you in the legend of "Loveless" with the chiming "Loomer" coming close to the best song the Cocteau Twins never recorded. Equally the blurred effect on the leviathan that is "To here knows when" took months to record and it is hardly surprising that some 18 engineers worked on the totality of this record. It was sadly too much for my beloved father who one day in the early 90s questioned my sanity as the repeat button was again pressed on this stunner for the umpteenth time. Lighter relief is provided by the poptastic "When you sleep" with its indecipherable Shields vocal and of course the sheer innovation of "I only said" which seems to float above all the undulating guitar distortion created by the Irish maestro. Sophia Coppola's "Lost in Translation" has turned the song "Sometimes" into a movie classic as one of the best celluloid/music combinations ever. The lost expression of the glorious Scarlett Johansson riding in neon lit Tokyo taxi is an image, which burns on your consciousness. Finally there is the sadness of "Blown a wish" to soundtrack all your heartbreaks.
For many then "Loveless" is a bleary dream for others it's a fuzz noise laden nightmare. Coming out in 1991 the record often draws comparison with Nirvana's "Nevermind" in terms of impact and yet the only record that possibly matches "Loveless" peerless innovation is the earlier "Marquee Moon" by Television or "The Velvet Underground and Nico'. Kevin Shields has never come close to matching this, although he has since enigmatically stated that to him the record feels like a "half formed version of something that could have happened which could have been a lot bigger". What is the absolute truth is that the BBC was unconditionally right in their review of "Loveless" when they stated "there really wasn't, and still isn't anything quite like My Bloody Valentine".
on 16 March 2009
As frustrating as it is to have to wait for the remastered edition of Loveless, that doesn't stop the fact that when it does come out, it will be a lap of honour for one of the best albums ever made. I discovered Loveless from listening to early Verve (Storm in Heaven is very good too), and having always wanted to hear a band with a huge , sweeping guitar sound (as on Slide Away), I looked up shoegazing bands who could fufil this. My Bloody Valentine came up instantly (as did Ride), and i checked out Loveless. From the openings of Only Shallow, I knew I'd found what I was looking for. The cover pretty much sums up the opening song: crashing, loud guitars giving way to an almost lullaby sung vocal with one of the best chord progressions ever. I usually listen to the next few songs either early in the morning or in at night in bed, so Loomer is always distant, dreamy and subtle. Touched is worthy of Brian Eno, yet except for his relaxing compositions (Deep Blue Day etc.), it is with almost film incidental music! Very good though, and it is followed by the sonic whirlpool that is To Here Knows When. Like Loomer, but longer, fresher, like floating through clouds half asleep.. My other two stand outs (even though i have played all the others well over a hundred times) are Sometimes and Soon.
Sometimes is hushed and quiet, like a love song, yet with regret and indecipherable lyrics(!), it comes closer to a beautiful funeral march or love letter. The guitar swirls and remains strong, probably the most stable it is throughout the album, and with just Kevin Shields' voice accompanying, it is truely eerie. Soon is best played in the middle of a field a deafening volume whilst you are under the influence; it has a dance beat, skyscraping guitars, wistful tune - happiness in reverb. And as it fades out, with Debbie's whale song vocals in the distance, you can almost here the kick start of Only Shallow coming into view... A true masterpice of emotions
on 15 December 2014
I came across this bands' name many times over the years but decided to give them a go after hearing opener 'Only Shallow.'
I wanted to try something rocky that's a bit different, and this is one of the most difficult bands and albums to categorize you can imagine! Although pigeon-holed as 'Shoegazing', it almost sounds like a bastard offspring of Grunge at times, and considering it was released the same year as Nirvana's 'Nevermind,' comparisons to that genre are expected but ultimately unfounded, as the band is deeply rooted in post-punk / alt rock but are utterly unique. A lot of comparisons have been made to bands like Sonic Youth, but since I haven't really listened to them I can't comment. To me, as a mostly hard rock and metal fan, the best description I can muster is a 'less Metal,' less riff-driven version of the Deftones, in that they are both heavy or at least sonically excessive and soothing and the same time, but with more weird noises.
The vocals are very soothing by Bilinda Butcher and Kevin Shields and are often a sharp contrast to the heavily distorted and experimental noise going on around their melodies. There are acoustic guitars here and there, a few keyboard lines and synths and god knows what else! Vocals definitely take a back seat here especially in the mix, that is not to say they're poor or unimportant, simply lower down the pecking order, the band seem to concentrate on creating an atmosphere or feeling rather than lyrical relativism as the band themselves have described them as 'basically gibberish.'
Track lengths can vary from under a minute to close to 7, but at no point does it sound filler or overdrawn, although it can be a bit too droney and repetive for some. Some of the songs border on mimimalism however and this could be considered the album's weakness. It definitely isn't for everyone and does require at least 2/3 listens to grasp. Check it out on YouTube!
'Only Shallow' is the highlight for me, but there are many good tracks to pick from here, 'When You Sleep' is another standout and one of the few other tracks that has any sort of 'conventional' song structure and even here I use the term loosely.
I would recommend this album to rock and metal fans that want to hear something very different, unique and is for all moods and occasions...often at the same time, but as always, try before you buy!