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Customer Review

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Bloody Valentine - The sonic pioneers return, 12 Mar. 2013
This review is from: M b v (Audio CD)
"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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 May 2013 11:36:49 BDT
I have only one question and I'll ask it here because this is by far the most convincing and informative review (thank you RoB).

And the question is: Why is it so ****ing expensive? Am I missing something?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2013 23:20:43 BDT
Red on Black says:
Frankie - you are right it is a bit steep in terms of price. It appears for some reason that amazon are selling the import yet it can be downloaded from the bands site for a far more reasonable rate. Thanks for the comment. Cheers Rob
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