Monday, September 08, 2008

685. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1990)

Track Listing

1. Only Shallow
2. Loomer
3. Touched
4. To Here Knows When
5. When You Sleep
6. I Only Said
7. Come In Alone
8. Sometimes
9. Blown A Wish
10. What You Want
11. Soon


Right after Nowhere by Ride, we get another classic of Shoegaze, Loveless by MBV. Honestly, Loveless is in my opinion the only true classic of the genre. Yes, I have gotten comments saying that I was too harsh on Ride, but the whole genre is something that doesn't click particularly with me. This album is different, however.

Beyond the normal influences that Shoegaze draws on, this album has a recognisable Cocteau Twins influence, this is particularly obvious in the lyrics, even if, and also because, they are often drowning in the huge sound of the guitars.

It is the way these guitars fill your whole scope of hearing that make it such a cool album as well. Talk about wall of sound! The whole thing sounds like it is underwater, like a huge engine revving under the sea. In that sense the comparison to some of Eno's ambient music are not out of place as well, things here remind of Another Green World. If you must listen to one Shoegaze album make it this one.

Track Highlights

1. Only Shallow
2. To Here Knows When
3. When You Sleep
4. Sometimes

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Loveless's influence has grown with time, and the album has impacted a wide variety of other artists. Music critic Jim DeRogatis wrote in Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock that "the forward-looking sounds of this unique disc have positioned the band as one of the most influential and inspiring bands since the Velvet Underground." Brian Eno has praised the album and said, regarding the song "Soon", that "[i]t set a new standard for pop. It's the vaguest music ever to have been a hit." Robert Smith of The Cure discovered Loveless after a period of almost exclusively listening to "disco, or Irish bands like the Dubliners" as a means of avoiding his contemporaries, and said, "[My Bloody Valentine] was the first band I heard who quite clearly pissed all over us, and their album Loveless is certainly one of my all-time three favourite records. It's the sound of someone [Shields] who is so driven that they're demented. And the fact that they spent so much time and money on it is so excellent." Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins told Spin, "It's rare in guitar-based music that somebody does something new [...] At the time, everybody was like, 'How the fuck are they doing this?' And, of course, it's way simpler than anybody would imagine." Corgan later recruited Alan Moulder to co-produce the Pumpkins' album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995). Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who praised the album's musical diversity and production, also worked with Moulder on the third Nine Inch Nails studio album, The Fragile. Trey Anastasio of jam band Phish believed that "Loveless [was] the best album recorded in the '90s", and wanted his band to cover the album in its entirety for a Halloween show. Robert Pollard of indie rock band Guided by Voices acknowledged the album as a source of inspiration, noting, "Sometimes when I want to write lyrics, I'll listen to Loveless. Because of the way the vocals are buried, you can almost listen to the songs as if they're instrumental pieces." Loveless has also been said to have made a considerable influence on the career of British band Radiohead, particularly influencing the band's textured guitar sound. Instrumental band Japancakes covered the album in its entirety on Loveless (2007), replacing vocals with steel guitar and distortion with a clean sound.

Only Shallow:


Rod McBan said...

If I have a problem with this album it's that a couple of the tracks towards the end, though quite good, feel a little dull by comparison with all the other stuff going on. Having said that, "To Here Knows When" is my absolute favourite song, and this is probably my second favourite album. So I may be biased in commenting.

But if you haven't checked-out Slowdive then you really should, since Eno produced Souvlaki and he is your main guy or some such.

I'll retreat into the shadows again, now.

Francisco Silva said...

I have heard some slowdive here and there, but never paid much attention. I should :) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Souvlaki should've been on this list really...also Soon is a really great song as well, id have put that in my top 4 from this album.