Why My Bloody Valentine’s LOVELESS is the greatest rock album of our greatness-averse age
as time goes by I start enjoying ISN’T ANYTHING, the previous album, more and more. and then I go back to LOVELESS, the follow-up, and it’s 1991 all over again in my head. but Music journalists in general usually ignore the impact the second My Bloody Valentine on everybody at the time – and forward. MBV is the closest I have to a “favourite band”, so I point you to this post by Steven Hyden on Grantland, even if it slides into pretentiousness here and there [as it is with this kind of thing], which tries to fine tune our focus:
Listening to Loveless is not unlike the sensation of having just endured a two-hour sonic hurricane, then feeling an intense yet melodic pounding in your eardrums for the next week. And I mean that in the most pleasant way imaginable. What took so long for Shields to find in the studio was the ecstatic pleasure point buried in the suffocating psychic evisceration caused by pure unadulterated volume. On most rock records, the music drowns out the lyrics; on Loveless, the music drowns out the music. The songs are packed dense with multi-track vocals, distortion, tremolo guitar licks, drum loops, mechanical squeaks from robot zoo animals, the sweet moans of clouds mating, and other sound bites from a terrifyingly beautiful rapture. On many tracks, it’s as if the actual song that you assume is in the middle of all of this has been removed, and it’s just sonic detritus floating along in suspended animation, doing lovely little pirouettes and blowing peyote smoke rings.
and LOVELESS is being reissued from the original 1/2-inch analogue tapes that had never been released. listen and compare: