Released: February 2, 2013
This album is this big, messy, amorphous blob of noise and hype. The immediate predecessor to mbv is widely regarded as one of the greatest, most influential albums from the 1990s. For years we have known there would someday be a follow up to Loveless but then on February 2, 2013 it finally materialized and promptly broke the Internet. Due to crashing servers, I wasn’t able to order and download mbv until the following day. It’s an album that had so much hype, had been delayed so long that I assumed there was no way to live up to the expectation. It’s like Guns n Roses’ Chinese Democracy or Dr. Dre’s Detox. When people people have decades to imagine what a new album will sound like, it’s practically impossible for an artist to deliver something that doesn’t completely disappoint. A successful comeback like that is nothing short of miraculous.
So I guess mbv is a miracle. It’s weird to say but even weirder to listen to because it sounds like they picked up exactly where they left off with Loveless. It’s a dense and meticulously crafted album that sounds like it took a serious amount of time to engineer and perfect, though I still think 22 years was a bit excessive. mbv seems to be painstakingly balanced. Balance between the old sounds that earned them a place in the alt rock canon and new sounds that push the boundaries of the shoegaze genre. The album has a taut balance between melody and noise that is nearly perfect. mbv isn’t for your average listener, but at the same time its a remarkably accessible experience in the often inaccessible genre of shoegaze music.
mbv is an album that is best consumed from start to finish. It seems like a waste of time to write about any individual songs however “Wonder 2” is worth mentioning. The song sounds like giants with electric guitars battling fighter jets. It’s a wild noisy conclusion to an absolutely epic album. Get your good headphones on, blast this sucker and get lost in the glorious return of My Bloody Valentine.
Top Tracks: “Wonder 2”, “New You”, “In Another Way”