My Bloody Valentine is a band that needs absolutely no introduction. The arrival of the newest album from the infamous shoegaze band, m b v, was destructive enough to nearly tear apart the entire fabric of the internet.
The band’s legacy is already firmly cemented with Loveless, an album which is often called one of the greatest albums ever released. The reaction to m b v will do nothing to change that in any way. It’s almost ridiculous to try to qualitatively compare any subsequent release from My Bloody Valentine to that album. Hell, I wouldn’t even try to compare anything in the entire shoegaze genre to Loveless. I suspect that some of this celebration of Loveless, as well as the massive anticipation for m b v, is due to the fact that My Bloody Valentine has not released a single note in 21 years. That fact alone can certainly change a lot of people’s perceptions about a band.
Comparisons of quality aside, m b v picks up right where Loveless left off. The band certainly knows how to handle fan expectations, because most of these songs sound like they could have been released in 1993, meaning they could be a natural progression from Loveless. Both “She Found Now” and “Only Tomorrow” are fantastic opening songs, which follow right in line with what My Bloody Valentine was trying to accomplish in the 90s.
Eventually the album does change it up with “Is This and Yes,” which is one the most unique tracks My Bloody Valentine has ever done. There are no drums to speak of whatsoever, and the entire song is just synth chords and Kevin Shields singing. At first it’s a very jarring transition, but the atmosphere created by these songs does grow.
“New You” is musically a great song, featuring traditional My Bloody Valentine pop catchiness. The lyrics which consist of “doo doo doo doo doo” may tire and bore certain listeners, but for the most part it fits with their overall sound. “In Another Way” again sounds like a traditional My Bloody Valentine song, but much more aggressive, which makes it way more interesting. It features a fascinating drum beat that gets busier as the song progresses. The synth chords that pound in the background remind the listener of “Sometimes.”
My Bloody Valentine is a legendary band; that status cannot be in question. With these things in mind, it almost brings m b v into a different context. This album can only further solidify the band’s greatness, not take away from it. Some fans may have wanted the album to be more similar to Loveless, some may have wanted something entirely different, or maybe some thought that this was just right. Either way, m b v is a more than worthy addition to the band’s catalog.
Standout tracks: She Found Now, Only Tomorrow, Is This and Yes, In Another Way