My Bloody Valentine’s New Album Picks up Where Peerless “Loveless” Left Off.

130203-my-bloody-valentine-m-b-v-album-art-1-700x422You’d be for­giv­en for think­ing that Kevin Shields and his band My Bloody Valen­tine were too cool for school. Had they sat down and plot­ted a course to gar­ner as much press and atten­tion as they could from the fol­low-up to their 1991 album Love­less, they could­n’t pos­si­bly have done a bet­ter job.

Since the sur­prise release of MBV last week­end, teenage boys in their 30s 40s have been pant­i­ng breath­less­ly into every cor­ner of the blo­gos­phere in a fren­zied fever pitch.

They did­n’t of course. When My Bloody Valen­tine released that album 22 years ago, like every band before them, they did so in the cer­tain knowl­edge that theirs would change the course of musi­cal history. 

lovelessOn this par­tic­u­lar occa­sion how­ev­er, they were right. Edge, to pick but one, has fre­quent­ly – and gen­er­ous­ly — said, no Love­less, no Achtung Baby. So Shields and co found them­selves under extra­or­di­nary pres­sure to pro­duce a fol­low-up. Unsur­pris­ing­ly they froze. And that myth­i­cal sequel became a thing of yore.

Until that is last week­end. When out of the blue, there it was. And to every­one’s amaze­ment and immense relief, some­how, it does­n’t disappoint.

As the suit­ably impressed review from the boys from Pitch­fork notes here, where it gets a regal 9.1, it’s an album divid­ed into three triads.

The open­ing three tracks are very much as you were, and could eas­i­ly have been set aside by the band in 1991 as hid­den bonus tracks on Love­less. The next three are qui­eter, with the tini­est of nods to the dig­i­tal uni­verse and the ambi­ent sounds that have arrived in the inter­ven­ing decades.

It’s with the final three tracks that the album real­ly digs in and gets its claws in. As ever, the trade­mark ethe­re­al 4AD his and her vocals are buried beneath the indus­tri­al noise of gui­tars that have been fed­back and end­less­ly treated. 

tumblr_mdnyvvkJvA1rc22qso1_1280But all the beats that are usu­al­ly muf­fled by the rhyth­mic drone of the dig­i­tal­ly mas­tered dis­tor­tion are let loose on the penul­ti­mate track, Noth­ing Is. The result is hypnotic.

And the album ends with Won­der 2, where every­thing gets fed into what seems to be a jet aero­plane as it pre­pares to take off. Yet some­how, it inex­plic­a­bly remains for­ev­er ground­ed. It’s the sound of flight and at once of con­tain­ment. And it’s thrilling.

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