Tuesday, 6 September 2011

33. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

Now this is a bit of a cheat because as a floppy-fringed, indie guitar loser boy, of course I've heard Loveless before, but not for years. And going back to it a couple of days ago was a strange experience, it was like hearing it for the first time, hearing it for it really was, after all the hype and nonsense which surrounded the album on its release had disappeared. I was sent to the album after listening to Pure X, when I was left hankering for more twisting and chopping guitars, more buried vocals. What I hadn't realised before is that Loveless is in fact a pop album, pure pop. When Loveless came out at the time it was often described with words such as: experimental, dense, impenetrable, cacophony, and for me back then, a 14 year old from a small town, a half-hour bus journey away from the town with a decent record shop, where you would still be lucky to find a solitary copy of Loveless amongst the latest albums by Marillion and Motley Crue, those words made a lot of sense. At the time I admired the album, perhaps because I was told I should by the tastemakers, but I couldn't love it. But listening to it now all I can hear is huge catchy riffs, massive hooks, and pop song after pop song. That's not to play down its adventurousness - nobody's guitars sound like the churning, seesawing, fuzz and roar of My Bloody Valentine's guitars, and of course it's a world away from the trudging rock bores it was competing with at the time, and whilst I have a huge soft spot for the bands who eventually followed in their wake, bands like Slowdive and Chapterhouse, they barely touched the surface of what MBV achieved here. But whilst MBV might be out there on their own with their textures and sounds, there isn't one song on Loveless that isn't anchored firmly to the floor by a massive tune. Of course you can't hear the words, but this isn't Waits, Dylan or Cohen, you don't listen to MBV for words, you listen for the sounds, and after a few listens you realise Loveless is a drugged, majestic, unhinged version of Bananarama's greatest hits. Which is the highest praise possible, of course.

9 comments:

  1. Is Reidys still going?

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  2. I should say thank you but I can just see your smug superior face as you gleefully swooped on my mistake.

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  3. you want to crack on with this you slacker....

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  4. Please review some more albums - you know you want to...

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  5. Have you given up on music reviews???

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  6. I prefer Isn't Anything, although To Here Knows When is an excellent track. Whirlpool by Chapterhouse is a great record, reminds me a lot of Sigur Ros, who I'm sure must have been influenced by them. Good review, I like the personal touch.

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  7. so... Where are you?

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  8. Hello anonymous,

    After nearly a year of not writing a word and forgetting about this blog until I saw those bastards Kasabian on tv with the Reading coverage, I think I might still try and still get to a hundred albums. It's going to take a fuck longer than a year, but it might be fun.

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