22 years. This record has been shelved within Kevin Shield’s mind longer than any of us here at Revolt have been around. Fortunately, due to my youth, I obviously didn’t have the 22 year wait for the follow up to the shoegaze/alternative rockers landmark 1991 album Loveless. Even website crashes plaguing the release haven’t haltered sales, and those yet to purchase the album have streamed the album on Youtube relentlessly. Understandably so though, due to the band essentially creating, publicizing, then, as time would tell, defining the genre that is shoegaze. So many years on, no one still really sounds like My Bloody Valentine, and this remains their greatest asset.
In an album rich with atmosphere and ambience, the opener “She Found Now” is probably the lushest track on the album. Hushed, downplayed lyrics over the top of their signature distorted, droning guitars make it a brilliant comeback, or introduction, to the sound they have since made their own. Following that is the excellent “Only Tomorrow”, featuring not only more distinguishable lyrics, but more straight-forward melodies. Chaotic noises however are ever-present, but when balanced with the delicate lyric, “Only tomorrow, the love comes easy”, it sounds far too easy for the band to create captivating music. The guitar dominant “Who Sees You” is a highlight, with the solo beginning at the three-minute mark one of the album’s brightest moments.
“New You” is the most accessible track on the record, though of course, that doesn’t say too much. More upbeat, more sonically pleasant than the previous tracks off the album, it capably leads the way onto the final three songs. To describe the latter part of m b v would be to essentially label it as a mixture of drum & bass and rock. Feeling very frenetic and rather hurried, this shows a drastic change in song styles from the mellow opener and even more poignant “Is This and Yes”. While this may not show they have fully adopted the 21st century (like other 90’s icons Radiohead, whose electronic experimentation shocked fans), this shows that Kevin Shields made an attempt to evolve his sound. This new sound is evident on closer “Wonder 2”, where the drum & bass is equally prominent to their guitar work.
To many fans, this is already their album of the year. Yes, m b v will definitely be amongst the year’s best albums, but to disregard other albums so early on is naturally, biased and unfair. In saying that, we finally have an album to pave the way, and set the standard, for what is looking like a very good year for music. For those new to My Bloody Valentine, this album is definitely a sterling showcase for one of music’s most iconic bands, and should gain them a new generation of fans. But to those who had to wait, this will certainly please early fans, and (as shown from the moment of release) garner worldwide attention.
Verdict – 8.7
Top Tracks – “She Found Now”, “Only Tomorrow”, “Who Sees You”