My Bloody Valentine
MBV, Two Variants: 180G Black Vinyl Deluxe Edition LP, 180G Black Vinyl Standard LP, Fully Analog Cut, Grab a copy before they're gone!
"When can we hear some new material?," someone asked Kevin Shields in an AOL chat interview published by the San Francisco zine Cool Beans!. "Definitely sometime this year or I'm dead..." he answered, later driving the point home with, "I really am dead if I don't get my record out this year. Nobody's threatening me, BTW I just have to."
That chat took place exactly 16 years ago tomorrow and Kevin Shields is still alive. And now, almost 22 years after My Bloody Valentine's last album, Loveless, we finally have that record. For those of us whose relationship to music and maybe even the act of hearing has been changed by Loveless, it's hard to believe. I'd grown comfortable with the idea that there would never be another My Bloody Valentine album. Even as recently as two months ago, I figured it would never happen. "But he said it was mastered," people said to me. The last time a master of an MBV album was completed it took four years for it to come out. And that was music that had already been released. An alleged master of a new release? Plenty of time to pull the plug. But no, it happened, by surprise, last Saturday night. And many 403 errors later, we finally have this thing on our hard drives. mbv. 2013. This Is Our Bloody Valentine.
Like a few people I know, I was initially afraid to listen, but there was no need to be. My Bloody Valentine have taken the precise toolkit of Loveless-- layered Fender Jaguar guitars made woozy through pedals and tremolo, hushed androgynous vocals way down in the mix-- and made another album with it, one that is stranger and darker and even harder to pin down. Where Loveless felt effortless, mbv strains, pushing at its boundaries with a sense of pensive gloom. If the guy spending all those years in the studio felt trapped by the experience, like the walls might be closing in and that he was dead if he didn't finish, the music here reflects it. mbv is an album of density with very little air or light. But it doesn't forgo the human touches that have made this band so special. -Pitchfork (9.1)