After 22 long years, My Bloody Valentine finally came out with their new album m b v in early 2013. Many were skeptical that My Bloody Valentine could ever top their 1991 masterpiece, Loveless. But, in my opinion, m b v is almost or equally as good as their most beloved and well-known album.
This album divides its nine songs into three parts, which I will address in three separate paragraphs.
The first part is essentially the My Bloody Valentine of the past. Songs “She Found Now”, “Only Tomorrow”, and “Who Sees You” would not be out of place had they appeared on Loveless, but they feature better production than any of the Loveless cuts. Unlike Loveless, which began with the explosive “Only Shallow”, m b v kicks off with slow-burner “She Found Now”. It’s as psychedelic as anything My Bloody Valentine ever put out, with whispered vocals that feel like they’re approaching from all sides. “Only Tomorrow” features one of My Bloody Valentine’s only guitar solos, and it is simply epic. “Who Sees You” features some of the most beautiful lyrics My Bloody Valentine ever released, as Bilinda Butcher sings “Claim your prize to the hurt until you, you, you / Turn your way, can I stay over here, who do you choose? / Say goodbye, lose what you do / And I’ll come with you“.
The second part is essentially the My Bloody Valentine of the present. “Is This and Yes” is the first and only ambient track on the album, with a looping organ part that seems directionless and atonal. It’s a welcome break after the two hard-hitting songs which preceded it. “If I Am” features the best guitar tone on the album, and My Bloody Valentine is known for their unique guitar tones, so that’s saying something. “If I Am” is my personal favorite song on the album. The small guitar riff towards the middle of the song sounds like a small part of the Universe splitting open and allowing a small glimpse of God to be observed. “New You” is a bumpy track with an infectious bassline. It also contains some of my favorite lyrics: “What can I say? / How can I feel, too? / All kinds of new you”.
The third and final part is essentially the My Bloody Valentine of the future. This side features the noisiest and most experimental songs on m b v, and in the entire My Bloody Valentine discography. “In Another Way” features slamming drums that refuse to let up. “Nothing Is” has a similar feel, with a simple section of music repeated over and over again until it disintegrates. Closer “Wonder 2” sounds like a helicopter flying over your head. The drum beat is basically just very fast snare rhythms that create this helicopter-like sound, similar to Animal Collective’s song “Fireworks”. The album ends with a crazy distorted guitar part and Mr. Shields singing “You were always late to see tomorrow / Everyone knows that you’re such too soon”.
m b v is a fantastic album and you should listen to it right away. You won’t be disappointed, unless you happen to hate lush, beautiful textures.
Scott’s Spectacular Song Selections include: “She Found Now”, “Only Tomorrow”, “Who Sees You”, “Is This and Yes”, “If I Am”, “New You”, and “Wonder 2”.