The New My Bloody Valentine Album

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Nick
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The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Nick » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:58 pm

The new My Bloody Valentine album will be released tonight.

This is really happening.

http://pitchfork.com/news/49403-the-new ... d-tonight/

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Matski » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:08 am

Managed to get through to the first page but thousands of fans cramming on to the server at once is making it hard to get to any of the music. Oh well, try again tomorrow morning...

EDIT:

For those of you that are yet to hear it, the band have posted a free Youtube stream of the entire record here.
Note that the fade-in/outs at the start/end of most songs on that stream are not included in the full album apparently.
Last edited by Matski on Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by BleuPanda » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:28 am

Listening to it right now! I'm liking it so far, two tracks in.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:07 pm

Wow, this would happen over a weekend when I'm out of town and can't listen to it properly! So pumped though--this is MBV's first album released in my lifetime.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by BleuPanda » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:19 pm

Me too. I've been telling everyone around me that I've been waiting 22 years for this album to come out, before they point out that I was born in December of 1992 and I didn't even start listening to the band until 2009. They don't understand that I just knew I was waiting for it my whole life.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Zorg » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:26 pm

It sounds great. In Another Way and Nothing Is are both wonderful songs.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by HRS » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:33 pm

It's also my first MBV release, Jackson! :D

Well, it doesn't seem to aim the epic proportions of Loveless, maybe that's why I've seen some people described it as a lite version of it. Not so long ago I expected Shields to take the sound they built with the band forward, but this one seems to stand closer to what has been built - and that includes the other releases like Isn't Anything and You Made Me Realise - than forward-thinking music like in 1991. On first listen, the album is signature Shields, with Bilinda Butcher singing lead in a number of tracks:

- She Found Now owes some debt to the slower songs like Sometimes, but I didn't find the best way to start an album. Although the atmosphere is as well built as usual, I felt that it dragged a little while it went. The vocals are clearer than on something like To Here Knows When, but it lacked the punch of such a song. Maybe, since MBV last two albums were all kickstarted with strong and more upbeat songs this song came rather as a shockingly Yo-La-Tengo-doing-noise-way to start the album. It does look like a grower.

- Only Tomorrow was much more successful in spellbinding, proving that MBV still has its own, unique spin on the shoe gazing genre. This is something that could have easily blowed the competition out of the water during the shoegazing revival of the last decade; the main guitar line works as a skeleton for the whole song and serves it well as an awesome hook on its own.

- The first three seconds of Who Sees You might bring to mind the start of Only Shallow and this might be enough to make a listener feel like listening to a Loveless-outtakes collection rather than a follow-up to it 22 years later. Kevin is back on lead and the song is typical My Bloody Valentine. I've seen some people complain that Who Sees You doesn't seem to dissociate itself enough of Only Tomorrow, pointing that it sounds like a continuation of the latter; Having in mind that Loveless itself has moments whose songs seem to blend with each other to end up, consequently, acting like a longer piece, this is enough to cement this particular song as the most traditional My Bloody Valentine moment on the record, so far...

- ... which makes the next track If This And Yes? all the more surprising, since it is built on synths and double-tracked vocals of Bilinda. This is the one song of the record that brings in mind works of other bands rather than My Bloody Valentine. The first few seconds of it could be part of a couple of Stereolab records, but the detached, double-tracked vocals along a continuous synth line seemed much more reminiscent of late-Thrish Keenan and her Broadcast records. The dreamy feel of it is typical Butcher, but it does lack the ferocious feel of No More Sorry or the tense, nighttime atmosphere of the gorgeous Loomer; I can't tell if such a track is a leap forward for the band, but it's a pleasing one.

- I really am ambivalent towards If I Am.

- New You is maybe the closest My Bloody Valentine ever came from a pop song. This one feels like one of the older tracks that Shields must have recorded for the original intended follow-up. It brought to my mind Soon, albeit with the exception of the innovational closed gap between noise and electronic - this seems to be more fond of the pop side of the Loveless closer.

- Bilinda sings lead on In Another Way, too; it's her last contribution. The thing is: the song peaks with the solos after 2:18 -- when she's no longer singing; a great instrumental moment that enraptured my ears. For a record that brings the sound of MBV, that was one the few moments that actually enraptured the feel of them.

- They follow it with Nothing Is, a instrumental track unlike all that preceded it. It sounds different from a lot of what they have produced before with instrumentals, but it feels out of place on the track-listing and it doesn't seem to fully justify its existence on the record - maybe because it came on such a late moment, rather than earlier on.

- Wonder 2 is the most envelope-pushing moment on the whole record; it's the one moment on the records that sees the band try to push guitar noise music forward. Having said that, I admire it more than I enjoy it; the song does present itself as the ultimate grower for the record, and, like Soon, finish the record on a higher note that presents to the mind possibilities over things to come.

My conclusions upon a first listen is that the record could have benefitted a lot if it had came out in the 90s rather than 22 years later with building expectation, although this record we are listening to probably doesn't sound at all like the one that Shields worked on during those days. Although some of the new elements on the record have been explored before by bands that followed, the album actually works because its signature MBV sound is present throughout it; That's a weird assertion to make, because I was actually expecting an album that pushed things more forward and even threatened to alienate a good amount of of MBV ever-growing fan-base. The reason I expected this is exactly because of the Brian Wilson-like image that the press built of Kevin Shields over the years and the interviews that he used to give during different eras that hint on genres fusion with MBV-circa-Loveless sound; These things made me overlook the idea that, like Wilson and basically every artist, Shields is limited to a sound, to a way of constructing his music that he doesn't look like willing to breakthrough. Many things could have happened in 22 years had My Bloody Valentine released something as this before and, on first listen, this doesn't seem like a maturing or a even a solidification of their talents; it seems to work better as an accompanying piece of their previous records, a step sideways. Movie-watchers know that a different cut may change the way a person perceives a particular film and this is exactly how I feel about this; it's an alternate take on a familiar sound that more than pleases me. m b v does feel like a disappointment to me, but the better of it - an album that gives pleasure, that is short and uneven, but works for the best as a whole and has strong enough individual pieces to rank among the best, more inspired material. It won't ever be seen on fair light because of the length of time and the groundbreaking work that follows - but maybe that's the fairness, maybe Shields isn't worried about this, because he feels it as a fully-formed record. So far, it's the best record I've heard all year. (7/10)

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Nick » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:24 pm

My first impression: I like it a lot. Not as good as "Loveless", but who actually thought it would be? I'm gonna need a few more listens in order to determine how good it really is though.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by musictoad » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:45 pm

I'm really digging this. It's vintage Loveless-era MBV, and I can't really ask for more. Ordered the vinyl, cd, and digital with very little hesitation.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Amoux » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:05 pm

So I've only listened to it once but I'm afraid to say that I found it overall to be rather dull myself. The most immediate track comes in during "New You". It certainly takes a while for it to warm up when you consider that particular track is already more than half-way through the album. It just sort of plods along to begin with and it's so inoffensive that it actually hurts. "In Another Way", "Nothing is" and "Wonder 2" are far more interesting and adventurous than the first half or so.

6/10 - A tad bit boring and quite disappointing considering all the hype surrounding it. Feels redundant and not essential.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Nick » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:19 am

Just got through a couple more listens. Sometimes (particularly in the first 3 songs or so) "MBV" feels like "Loveless Part 2", although seeing as "Loveless" is one of the greatest albums ever made that's not exactly a bad thing. The ending 3 songs are pretty crazy. I had heard that Kevin Shields had been dabbling in jungle music for a while, and those jungle influences really show in the final 3 songs. Overall, it's exactly what I expected from a new MBV album, a great burst of dreamy soundscapes that sound like an ocean of guitars in an orgy- no more, no less. Although it's not nearly as good as "Loveless" it's still pretty freaking good in its own right. Hopefully people will be able to separate the hype from the album itself when it comes time to asses it.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by o.m. » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:55 am

Funny, I connected this morning at 11 AM on RYM and there were 7 reviews of this album on the main page...

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:00 pm

So I heard this for the first time (now my second). Of course the instinct is to compare it to Loveless...so I'll compare it to Loveless. I would have expected a rehash, but m b v is surprisingly different. The songs are generally less melodic and riff-based; there's nothing on here like "When You Sleep" or "I Only Said" that just rides an otherworldly riff for 5 minutes. Things on m b v are more subtle, especially at the start of the album. The track sequencing on here is kind of weird; once I get to know the tracks better, I might even play around with different arrangements (whereas Loveless has to be in the original order). Mainly, I don't like that "She Found Now" and a couple other slow songs start off the album. At least initially, I think the album's a little too backloaded...but the tracks on the back half are marvelous. I'm just glad they experimented with some different types of songs, while remaining firmly in the MBV sound, which no one else has managed to match.

I wish reviewers would give it some time before posting scores. We know no one heard it before Saturday, so what's the rush to get reviews out this week? I still haven't had time to really assess m b v yet. Anything other than an outright disappointment (and this is not a disappointment) would end up as one of my favorites of 2013, so I'm sure this will. I just don't know where it will fit in on an all-time basis yet.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jonathon » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:57 am

Everyone's rushing to compare this to Loveless, which is of course the gold standard, but how would you guys rank this against Isn't Anything? Do you consider it worthy of MBV's (admittedly limited in quantity, yet high quality) discography?

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Nick » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:04 am

1. Loveless (10/10)

2. MBV (8.5/10)

3. Isn't Anything (8/10)

That's a pretty damn consistent discography.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:27 am

Jonathon wrote:Everyone's rushing to compare this to Loveless, which is of course the gold standard, but how would you guys rank this against Isn't Anything? Do you consider it worthy of MBV's (admittedly limited in quantity, yet high quality) discography?
I'd say it's much better than Isn't Anything. They didn't really have their sound yet on Isn't Anything. Right now, I'd put it on par with the EP collection. But I'm hesitant to rate it so quickly.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by irreduciblekoan » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:25 am

I would also call it the stronger album vs Isn't Anything. It doesn't match Loveless, but in the same way In Rainbows didn't match OK Computer. It's still the best release of this young year so far. But it CAN be bettered. It isn't a flawless album.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Stephan » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:24 am

After 2 listens to m b v:

1. Loveless (8/10)
2. Isn't Anything (7/10)
3. m b v (7/10)

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:46 pm

irreduciblekoan wrote:I would also call it the stronger album vs Isn't Anything. It doesn't match Loveless, but in the same way In Rainbows didn't match OK Computer. It's still the best release of this young year so far. But it CAN be bettered. It isn't a flawless album.
There are a couple things that bothered me, especially given the amount of time there was to work on this album:

1) The song titles and album title are extremely plain. It's going to take a lot of listens to remember which track goes with which title.
2) This is the band's worst album art of their career by a large measure. Their other covers greatly improve the experience, whereas with this one I don't think dark blue was the right color for this music.
3) The interludes and transitions between songs found on Loveless are lacking on m b v.

So it isn't a 10, but it's going to be tough for any modern artist to top m b v this year. Also, while I get the point of the comparison, it's way better than In Rainbows!

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jonathon » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:46 pm

Wow...some real hate for Isn't Anything...I always thought that album was starting to gain a little acceptance. Not as major as Loveless, but still a classic.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by HRS » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:22 pm

Jonathon wrote:Wow...some real hate for Isn't Anything...I always thought that album was starting to gain a little acceptance. Not as major as Loveless, but still a classic.
Came here just to express how much I enjoy that album. It might lack the wall-of-sound built for Loveless, but it's just an incredibly enjoyable piece of shoegaze music. The atmosphere is still there (Lose My Breath, No More Sorry, Several Girls Galore); it also contains the terrific Feed Me With Your Kiss and it has the emotional punch that this new record lacks in the form of All I Need. Also, Cupid Come, Nothing Much To Lose and Sueisfine are three of the greatest subverted catchy songs made by the band. I just adore that album and if Loveless didn't sound like a unique, tight piece of otherworldly music as a whole, it would sure be my favorite since it contains my favorite tracks by them:

- Loveless (9.5/10)
- Isn't Anything (9/10)
- m b v (7/10)
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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:25 pm

Jonathon wrote:Wow...some real hate for Isn't Anything...I always thought that album was starting to gain a little acceptance. Not as major as Loveless, but still a classic.
I've never regarded Isn't Anything as a classic; my love for MBV starts with the You Made Me Realize EP. If You Made Me Realize/Glider/Tremolo could be counted as one release it would easily rank top 50 all time for me. The songwriting is there on Isn't Anything, but the production isn't.

Also, reading my last post back makes it seem like I am harsh on m b v--while it doesn't have do the little things that make Loveless a 10/10, I am really, really enjoying m b v after 5 listens now.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jonathon » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:16 pm

Interestingly, critical consensus seems to be swinging in favor of Isn't Anything. Not over Loveless, but Pitchfork's recent 10 score for Isn't Anything shows that it's definitely gained traction as a classic in it's own right.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Matski » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:20 pm

And in some way it's much overdue. The mythos surrounding 'Loveless' has grown to such an extent over the last two decades that we tend to ignore that it was 'Isn't Anything' that was the groundbreaking album that set out the original conventions. Its successor really just built on them by fleshing out the details to their fullest potential. It's unfortunate that the side-effects of Loveless' successes means that any other record made by My Bloody Valentine will likely be forever compared/overshadowed by it. Luckily, some are now starting look at these works on their own terms.

Personally, I going to agree with something Jackson said above. 'Isn't...' is a really strong album in its own right but there are certain aspects that stops me from giving top marks - unlike the timeless sound of Loveless, you can definitely tell it was an album of its decade. My first thought upon hearing the introductory bassline on 'Soft as Snow' was, "Yeesh, I hope they didn't try to dabble in hip-hop, Blondie-style', and it's never quite shaken off that eighties vibe in further listens since.

As for 'm b v', it seems like most critics and fans are really taking to it so far. Hopefully that will continue...
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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by irreduciblekoan » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:57 am

I should just say that I didn't mean to sound like I "hated" Isn't Anything. It's a great album, one of the best debuts ever.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Billy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:34 am

The new album is pretty good, enough stuff to keep me interested. I'll be honest and say the first time I heard Loveless I had never considered to be amazing, even though after many listens I eventually came to realize the genius of Kevin Shields. This album isn't quite Loveless, only because some songs don't really match its grandeur,though I really do enjoy Wonder 2, If I Am, New You, and In Another Way. Even though most of these songs are on the back half of the album, I still feel the front half carries enough weight, and I found myself enjoying the front half as well.

I enjoyed every song on the album but it I can understand why some found it dull. Like many others have said, it just doesn't have some of the peaks of Loveless, even though I think one or two of the songs on Loveless are somewhat plain as well, but it goes without saying that Loveless' peaks are quite amazing and that is what encapsulates the album.

What irks me is the fact that so many people that give mediocre or solid reviews to an album and claim disappointment over the album. Firstly, Loveless would be mighty hard to outdo, and just because it takes a while to make an album doesn't automatically mean it has to be better, and secondly, in my opinion, I think it would harder to make a strong album after such a long wait. It must be so draining physically in general.

A solid 8 for me, and it seems like the perfect music to write an essay over :)
And for reference I consider Loveless to be an 9/10

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by musictoad » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:23 am

I honestly don't care a whole lot for Isn't Anything, and Loveless is in my all-time top 5.

m b v continues to grow on me, could easily see this becoming a 5 star album.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jirin » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:29 am

Loveless my #20 of all time, Isn't Anything my #220.

Not impressed by M B V. Same sound, less inspiration.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jonathon » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:24 pm

Matski wrote:And in some way it's much overdue. The mythos surrounding 'Loveless' has grown to such an extent over the last two decades that we tend to ignore that it was 'Isn't Anything' that was the groundbreaking album that set out the original conventions. Its successor really just built on them by fleshing out the details to their fullest potential. It's unfortunate that the side-effects of Loveless' successes means that any other record made by My Bloody Valentine will likely be forever compared/overshadowed by it. Luckily, some are now starting look at these works on their own terms.

Personally, I going to agree with something Jackson said above. 'Isn't...' is a really strong album in its own right but there are certain aspects that stops me from giving top marks - unlike the timeless sound of Loveless, you can definitely tell it was an album of its decade. My first thought upon hearing the introductory bassline on 'Soft as Snow' was, "Yeesh, I hope they didn't try to dabble in hip-hop, Blondie-style', and it's never quite shaken off that eighties vibe in further listens since.

As for 'm b v', it seems like most critics and fans are really taking to it so far. Hopefully that will continue...
I tend to break up great albums into three categories. "One of the best of all time", "One of the best of the decade" and "One of the best of the year." I guess you could call that my 5 star, 4 1/2 star, and 4 star. I view Loveless as a top 100 album of all time, and Isn't Anything as being a top 100 album of the 80s. So I see it as kind of a big fish in a smaller pond, but still a classic that deserves a little more recognition than it receives.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Jackson » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:18 pm

Anyone want to rank the songs from m b v?

1. Wonder 2
2. Only Tomorrow
3. Nothing Is
4. New You
5. In Another Way
6. If I Am
7. She Found Now
8. Is This and Yes
9. Who Sees You

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Chambord » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:08 pm

Only Tomorrow is the standout.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Nick » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:00 am

It's hard to say for sure how I'd rank the songs, but here's a somewhat rough ranking.

1. Only Tomorrow
2. New You
3. Who Sees You
4. Wonder 2
5. She Found Now
6. In Another Way
7. If I Am
8. Nothing Is
9. Is This and Yes

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Honorio » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:51 am

Since I see that no one is going to say it, I'm afraid I'll be the one who does it, at the risk of gaining some enemies inside my beloved AM Forum. But before beginning my rant let me say that I kinda like the album, especially the way it's sequenced (first 3 songs "we still know how to shoegaze", next 3 songs "but we like to try other things like synths or pop songs" and the last 3 "but our real speciality is noise"). But getting to the point… is it justified working on this album for more than 20 years? Absolutely not!! This is not opera, this is pop music, I mean songs with 2 or 3 chords played with drums, bass, guitars (in this case with tons of effects) and voice (in this case with tons of reverb). The only explanation for such an excessive amount of time to record an album is psychological, the pressure that we (I mean music nerds and critics) put on Kevin Shields. I suppose that it's difficult to write new material if every time you read something about you carries the word "genius" and everything about your old material carries the word "masterpiece." We blocked his creativity because of our great expectations moreover when (frankly speaking) his previous material was not that great. Surely it was groundbreaking and influential but as a piece of music it was more based on sound that on songs, something that it's never a good thing in my book. A Spanish set phrase could perfectly be applied here, "mucho ruido y pocas nueces" (literally "lot of noise but few nuts" but the sense is "more hype than substance" or "a lot of fuss about nothing"). And now you can throw your stones on me…

On a side note, HRS, your review of the album was excellent.

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by HRS » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:11 am

Honorio wrote: On a side note, HRS, your review of the album was excellent.
Oh, thank you, Honorio! And your dissident comments are always more than welcome -- at least to me. I fully understand where you are coming from, and I don't think that it's a coincidence that the three tracks I enjoyed the most and I believe that might rank over the years among their best material are actually the more melodic moments on the record. So I won't throw any rocks at you - and you can see that it ain't because of the compliment! :D

On a different side note, MBV actually hasn't improved its quality to me. After almost a dozen listenings, I guess it's closer to a 6. 2013 is only starting, so this record still ranks inside my top 10. It hasn't grew further as records by likes of Nick Cave, Marnie Stern and Flaming Lips. Right now, this seems closer to recent records by Yo La Tengo, David Bowie, Devendra Banhart and Low who have also released rather safe albums in comparison to the music I've enjoyed from them during their respective peaks -- each one of those 2013 albums varying in sound, but hitting me on a similar target composed of mixed feelings. When MBV finishes and something else from the band plays, it's pretty obvious that I'm not connecting with this material. Maybe this is it, maybe it will take me 22 years until I'll appreciate it like most critics and users seem to do. :D

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Re: The New My Bloody Valentine Album

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:39 am

HRS wrote:Maybe this is it, maybe it will take me 22 years until I'll appreciate it like most critics and users seem to do. :D
Yes, probably we need 22 years to fully appreciate it, lol. I understand the concept of "grower" and I think that every album deserves to be listened more than once to fully reveal its charms. But, where is the limit? There are simply too many good albums out there waiting to be listened and our time (at least mine) is limited.

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