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Definitive album by Irish, London-based band My Bloody Valentine

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Too young for this fantastic album from My Bloody Valentine

  • Jan 17, 2009
  • by
When I was 19, I met a much older guy who embodied everything I would have wanted in a boyfriend, if only I were a few years older. He was in his thirties, worked as a lawyer who probably did pro bono work for civil rights organisations in his spare time. He also listened to My Bloody Valentine.

"What's that?" I asked. At that point in my life, my musical tastes hadn't evolved much further than Tori Amos.

He looked at me, the age gap between us widening every second he paused. I could see the gears in his head shifting, trying to figure out how to best explain it in terms that someone my age would understand. Finally, he said this: "They're kind of like the Smashing Pumpkins."

Needless to say, our relationship didn't evolve much further than that.

But! What I got out of it is a deep, abiding love for Loveless, the 1991 album from the shoegazing alt rock band. Loveless is a melancholic, frenetic, heartbreaking piece of work that juxtaposes moments of musical distortion with surprising breaks of articulation. What especially comes through is the way the band uses clear melodic lines with waves of fuzzy synthesizers, using it either to enhance the sound of the electronic debris — or to cut against the abstraction, like detergent against oil.

I love the way, for instance, in "When You Sleep," Kevin Shields' vocals rears its head, singing romantic, angsty lyrics, before disappearing into the sea of synthesizers again. If there's ever a song that translates the experience of being numb on valium, your fears and anxieties turned down to a low din, this would be it (Uh, not that I'd know or anything).

To me, Loveless represents an album of what has never been, could never be. This is the soundtrack to '90s basement house parties I've never attended (I was in third grade), nod-off music to glamorous drugs I've never taken (too much of a square), makeout sessions with grunge-era boyfriends I've never had (they've all grown up now and like the lawyer, have probably learned how to "work within the system," as the saying goes).

Even though I've arrived too late to the scene, when I listen to this album, I kind of feel like I've been there. That's good enough for me.
Loveless, My Bloody Valentine

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October 30, 2009
Fantastic review for an amazing album.
October 03, 2009
Love this album. I'm gonna check out the other reviews you have - i bet we have really similar music tastes!
January 21, 2009
Aww, thanks guys!
About the reviewer

Ranked #83
I'm a curious foodie, a devout fashion gawker, and an unrepentant print nerd. I work at one of the last mainstream commercial magazines that's still printing.      Other things … more
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About this song


Released in 1991, this second studio album from Irish alt rock band My Blood Valentine, is generally considered a defining landmark of the shoegazer genre. While not commerically sucessful, it has been critically lauded and made many "Best of" critic lists.

The overextended two-year recording process for Loveless was a difficult one, nearly bankrupting the label Creation, and noted for frontman Kevin Shield's perfectionism.

My Bloody Valentine has not released any new albums after Loveless.
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Music, Indie Rock, Shoegazer, Noise Pop, Shoegazer indie rock


Genre: Shoegazer indie rock
Release Date: 1991

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