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3.8 out of 5 stars20
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 February 2015
Some really nice textures and lovely melodic turns, combined with those smooth elusive vocals, help to make this another enjoyable album. Whilst I purchased Loveless when it first came out, out of curiosity really (maybe I liked the CD cover), I was never into the whole "Shoegaze" thing and I never hung out with that type of crowd. But, for some reason, Loveless always seemed to be in my easy reach CD pile and, later on, in my MP3 players and smart phones. I could hardly be called a fan, I didn't even know that this album existed until recently, but I'm glad I found out about it. Something organic and unrushed about it. Funny how your cuppa tea isn't always what you imagine it to be.
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"MBV leaves all other post-rock experimentalists looking like trivial dilettantes. If jet engines could sing, these would be their hymns". The Independent

"It's a good album, but not a great one, and though the long tail of history will eventually render such a long production time moot, it's certainly not a record justifying the ludicrous wait." Popmatters

On February 4th 2013 My Bloody Valentine pulled off one of the greatest surprises in modern music by releasing their often promised first full length album in 22 years, and making it available for free online via a internet stream. Well done Kevin Shields, better late than never. As a result this album has been subject to deliberation, cogitation and digestion on a epic scale (see above for some representative samples). For some critics it has provided a wonderful opportunity to dust down that old thesaurus and look up different words for "superlative" as they ascend to the alter of high praise and lose any pretence of objectivity. Others have been more cautious detecting a distinct absence of anything resembling a melody and strong hints that the preoccupations of "Isn't anything" haven't been advanced that far.

Let us start with a statement of fact when it comes to stature this is no "Loveless". There is nothing on here that really compares to the grandeur of "To here knows when", "Soon" or "Loomer". In another sense thank god its different - it would be a terrible indictment after 22 years if Shields came up with a "Loveless Part 2". So lets try to explain how this sounds after "wearing it around" for a month. Opener "She found now" has been called MBV by numbers but after time it grows to a sweet little thing full of the tell tale swirling guitars, barely decipherable vocals and a very good tune in there screaming to get out. "Only tomorrow" is a standout. Following the regretful line "Only tomorrow, the love comes easy/Want you to hear my each beating heart" the song explodes at 1.30 minutes and Shields guitar presses that wall of noise button. From this point everything is once again fine with the world and you have tangible proof that "jet engines can sing". Next up "Who sees you" sadly could bore for Britain. It's a horrible noise the sort of echo laden shoegaze that Slowdive did ten times better. Much gentler but very dispensable is the almost church like "Is this and yes". Yes it is lovely to hear Blinda Butcher's sweet tones again yet it almost acts as a mid point intermission. Altogether stronger track is the slab of sleepy eyed funk of "If I Am" which sees the start of the short pop interlude in the middle MBV which concludes with the following song "New You" a wonderful airy five minutes whose beat has been compared to the Happy Mondays, and which allows you to fall back deeply in love with Belinda's gossamer vocal. The best song on the album is "In another way" a great squall of distorted guitars, an audible Butcher vocal and slabs of sound that plunder your ears from all angles. There are clear hints of a new direction here and it's a shame that the wonders of this track are followed by clichéd post-hard core drone of "Nothing is" easily the weakest track on the album.

MBV's closer "Wonder 2" shows how Shields nearly drove Alan McGee mad. He is the greatest mixing alchemist at the recording desk and this remarkable song clearly has no safe place on earth to land it. On balance then "MBV" is certainly more interesting than Bowie's mere 10 year long return effort "The next day" and is good enough to the Shields myth remains firmly intact. After repeated listens this reviewer is a bit smitten with certain parts of "MBV" particularly those that echo former glories and also tantalisingly point to the future. But the nagging doubt remains whether this is true love or just a bout of longing sentimentality?

3.5 stars.
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on 12 March 2013
let's get straight to the point: i fully expect the vast majority of my bloody valentine fans to rate this a distant 3rd behind isn't anything and loveless

they were great records, this is not, just merely decent overall

i'd rate 3 songs as good, 1 dreadful, 2 poor, and 3 ok

but thankfully its not the disappointing, predictable and dreaded "change of direction" that normally means "if you like our previous stuff you probably won't like this" - its just that it doesn't quite have any of the punch of earlier mbv records, or as many of the amazing melodies

if you are reading this as an already converted mbv fan, then, like all fans, you will buy this, and so you should - but if you are new to the band, i'd strongly suggest you obtain isn't anything and/or loveless before this record

its not that its a bad record, its not..... its just very difficult to judge it without unconsciously comparing it to previous efforts - thats why, in isolation, i've given it 3 stars, because overall its ok - but in terms of my personal disappointment comparing this to isn't anything+loveless i would be ranking it as a 1 or 2 star effort

most of the modern day "professional" reviewers won't rubbish this record because:
a)they wouldn't dare
b)they never were around (maybe alive but not active in music!) at the time of release of i.a + loveless, if they're being honest, so those records are merely pieces of history, as opposed to something they saved up money to go and buy
c)unfortunately its "fashionable" to like mbv, almost embarassingly and patronisingly so, reading some of the reviews

hopefully this record is a resurrection, rather than the finale - and more, truly new material (not seemingly a compilation of the last 20 odd years) is forthcoming, and soon

and don't let any "experts" confuse the issue with the "have you heard it on vinyl though?" - a great record is great, whatever the format.....if you find yourself arguing that it "needs to be heard" on this format or that format, then you've missed the point

isn't anything and loveless were really special, really special indeed, on any format - i suspect most fans would buy any mbv release just based on those 2 records alone

we've been truly, truly, spoiled by how good mbv were, and overall, this stuff sounds a little like demos etc that just didn't quite make previous releases, but respect to the band for releasing it - maybe in a sick way (and i don't think the band would do this, its not their style?), i'm hoping they were releasing it to make a few quid (because they know it will obviously sell to the hardcore fans), because that way i can justify to myself that they don't really think this is the best they can do, and then they come back with something stronger - or am i just clutching at straws? i hope not....

really pleased to see the band back with us, maybe they never went away..... hopefully its the re-birth of a special group
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on 13 September 2015
Had to use as 3/4 pants although measurements given made me believe they were full length. OK though
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on 22 March 2013
I was astonished by Loveless. Who cares... Forget about Loveless for a moment.
Just bless what the band has to offer today. Just focus on today.
I think this new album is remarkable, inventive and daring. It is an obsession. The array of textures is delightful.
I do not care if it took them 22 years to achieve 'that'. I do not care about the past.
Today we have been offered this humbly titled "m b v" and it gives me top grade pleasure every day since I've bought it.
Look, what would you do after a monument like Loveless?
Thank you Mr Shields. I bought the CD because I'd like you to make another one like this. And I don't mind waiting til 2035.
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on 25 June 2013
There are 7 decent songs on here - of which 2 are pretty good in fact - and there are 2 absolutely unlistenable p*ss-takes at the end of the album. There is still nothing on here which beats more or less all of Loveless or Isn't Anything in terms of quality.

Overall this rather short album (I can't bear the last 2 ever again) has to be rated as a disappointment given their past achievements.

I still think the two pre 'Isn't Anything' EP's are the best things they ever did. EP's And Rarities
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on 18 March 2013
It was a masterstroke to release m b v late at night with no fanfare so everyone could download/order at the same time(the less said about the technical problems the better). Given the fact that no one expected another album to ever be released, the fact that we have it at all is to be celebrated. I'm not sure that the 22 year wait has any bearing on the music itself, but no one listening is unlikely to be unaware of the fact. But how good is it? Is Kevin Shields as some have alleged, a one hit wonder who got lucky with Loveless? I'd point to Isn't Anything and the various Eps as evidence to the contrary. Remember that a lot of the EP tracks did not appear on any album until recently. m b v is different to its predecessors but its still the work of the same band and I doubt it would convince newcomers. What strikes me on listening to the album nearly 2 months on from its release is that is a quite varied set-starting out with "classic" MBV before going in different directions with If I Am, New You and In Another Way. Perhaps I'm biased, perhaps this is the emperor's new clothes but I love this album.
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on 28 April 2013
After 22 years between their last release MBV have done it again - changed how music can sound and making it seem effortless, they are the way forward and this album is accessible as the others. Well worth the wait.
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on 17 September 2014
Although there are no real standout tracks a la Loveless, time has been kind to MBV. Well worth a listen.
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on 27 April 2013
Kevin Shields and band don't reinvent the wheel but bring us a new set of classic shoegazing tunes as we're all back in 1991. May we consider it a sequel to Loveless? Maybe and maybe not. Although it has similar feel and vibe, 20 years is a long long time to face it as a mere continuation. I'd rather call it an extemporaneous effort made for us all that were awaiting MBV back. Listen to those ethereal voices, trancing guitars and eerie keys and remember that there are some much more in past lives than baggy trousers, crunchy guitars and anguished laments.
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