mbv brouhaha explains why MBV went AWOL for 22 years
Welcome back: My Bloody Valentine during the 1991 Loveless tour
REVOLVER: BRIAN BOYDon music
The reaction to mbv so far? Good Jesus. Never in has so much bullshit been written by so many for so few. Track-by-track reviews of an important new release are to be expected, but this week we had a second-by-second review of My Bloody Valentine’s new album. Or an attempt at same.
A random flick through the reviews give us the following: “it sounds like being hit on the head with a shovel and falling into a well half-filled with honey”; “it inverts the probable nature of instrumentation”; “it has a sickly, disconcerting quality, like a kind of aural equivalent of the way you feel just before you faint”; “songs that sound like Beatles classics played backwards, and heard through a wall of pudding”.
It seemed every person reviewing the album had to preface their “insights” with a brief autobiography: where they were and what they were doing when they first heard Loveless. Like we care.
You soon overdose on the same words being used in the same place. I actually tried playing a drinking game whenever the words “breathy”, “distorted” and “shimmering” were used but soon had to give up. If you owned the copyright to the word “shimmering” you’d be a gazillionaire this week thanks to mbv reviews.
Somebody even went to the trouble to inform us that it had been “21 years, 2 months, 29 days, and 23 hours” since the release of Loveless. And one brave soldier even got Margaret Thatcher and the Illuminati into the same paragraph.
Artists that were mentioned as reference points or inspirations included Ministry, Happy Mondays, Steve Reich, Big Country, Destiny’s Child and A Certain Ratio. Large amounts of people saw fit to crowbar the terms “top end” and “bottom end” into their reviews, despite not having the vaguest idea of what the terms actually mean. And people who’ve likely never been on the same street as a recording studio were writing mini-essays on how the mixing desk was used during this album. Vibrato or tremolo? Neither, so shut up.
Some of this “look-at-me” nonsense makes Finnegans Wake read like a Dan Brown novel: “It fills the sky with imaginary vapour trails, and creates the illusion of being strapped Icarus-like into a jet eight miles high and climbing”; “a honey-coloured smear of whispers and sighs in which syllables are no more distinct – and no less lulling – than waves in an ocean”.
Puddings, trumpets, the Illuminati, shovels, honey and inverting the probable nature of instrumentation. No wonder MBV disappeared for more than 20 years.
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