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Revisited: My Bloody Valentine - Loveless


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As time continues to expand, the various dimensions of reverence for My Bloody Valentine's sophomore album Loveless has gone beyond the very limits of anything we could at first have imagined. 

It becomes rather difficult to pinpoint the exact moment where adoration subsides, and factual truth emerges from the undercurrent of reverence that lingers with this record. Such is the echelon of fondness for this album, all is forgiven that a follow-up attempt hasn’t been produced for the masses. Formed by the mysterious and introverted eccentric that is Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine conjured a record that swirled, soared and whispered into shoegaze folklore. 

Prior to their 1991 offering, Kevin Shields and co. swiftly distinguished themselves from the regular indie template that was dominating the scene, entering into a bracket regular assigned to the likes of Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. In November of 1988, MBV released the critically acclaimed and effervescent album Isn’t Anything. Whereas Loveless was instantly ordained as a shoegaze legend, Isn’t Anything was the prodigal beacon illuminating the path for its older sibling. 

As prevarication and indecisiveness crept in over their next release, Creation bosses Alan McGee and Dick Green bank-rolled £250,000 in the pursuit of sonic perfection and Shields’ commitment - an astronomically absurd figure for an independent record label back then, it must be said. This also saw the band working in a tumultuous environment; with Shields ferrying the band between a reported 19 different studio locations. While Isn’t Anything conveyed itself into a melancholic firmament, the sophomore effort prioritised the exploration of feedback so much that the dreaded, barbaric howl of noise associated with amateurs was transferred into a category of sonic delicacy.

Through this subtle shift in thought process and perception, My Bloody Valentine transformed themselves from lo-fi garage rock into an impenetrable wall of androgynous voluptuousness. Each track slithers and cascades through the crevices of the human ear and greets the face in a caressing manner. From what is relatively simplistic song construction, the deliverance and final product arrives in a seductive manner.

Each track evaporates into the next, allowing for open, individual interpretation. Belinda Butcher’s vocal delivery draws a comparison to a maternal embrace, sighing and cooing with child-like tones, somehow distracting the listener from the pulsating and feral haze occurring in the background. As a band and concept, the general premise is as exquisite as it is genius. Whereas adjectives such as perfectionism and fluidity arrive instantaneously, their greatest achievement is a pristine and unparalleled balance of beauty and delicacy in a world synonymous with ferality

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