Have You Heard The New…My Bloody Valentine Album?

Well, well…Mr. Shields…took your sweet time, didn’t you?

In any case, it’s good to have My Bloody Valentine back with a new album. And not just any new album, but a new album that’s actually great. The extent to which it is a masterpiece may remain to be determined, but the fact is that this is a solid and often stunning album that somehow manages not to disappoint, and even improve melodically on the band’s past work.

The most amazing thing about the album, however, is that it actually sounds like the My Bloody Valentine album that I think we all wanted to hear as the follow-up to Loveless: all the churning, wall-of-noise guitars, the melodies, the sensuality – everything that made us love My Bloody Valentine in the first place is still there. I would’ve thought that after all this time and with Kevin Shields being as crazy as he’s gotta be they would’ve sprung something totally weird and unexpected on us all, but no, this is the exact My Bloody Valentine we know and love with a couple tweaks maybe in the rhythm department. Whereas Loveless‘ drums were all (or almost all) programmed on account of Colm Ó Cíosóig being extremely ill at the time and unable to play – and pushed far back in the mix – here the man is back in action and all percussion is given considerably more volume and attention. There’s been some writing about Kevin Shields having gotten into jungle music and drum n’ bass or whatever after Loveless, but the influence of such genres is, if not always exactly subtle, at least restrained.

Honestly, if that’s all Shields has in him and we never get another My Bloody Valentine album – something I doubt anyone holding their breath for at this point – it’s cool. The man and the band didn’t have to do anything after Loveless, and the fact that they did and it’s this good is just like…you’re good. You passed. You made a solid amount of great art; you pass at life. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be amazing to hear Shields and MBV putting shit out on some conception of a regular basis – it would – but the pressure is off now. You made your masterpiece and you followed it up. Good stuff, bro.

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