For the quarter of a century prior to CDs suddenly becoming an obsolete music format, I spent an obscene amount of time and money amassing the most out of control collection of discs this side of the Mississippi. I’m glad I never looked upon this ever-growing plastic mess as an investment because they are now worth precisely nothing. You might think, therefore, that it would be difficult for me to pinpoint a single album as my absolute favorite among 3,000 titles from every genre you can think of, but you’d be wrong. My absolute favorite album of all-time is 1991’s shoegaze tour de force “Loveless” by My Bloody Valentine.
This brilliant, lush, sprawling, hypnotic masterpiece flew under the radar of the listening public, but it sure caught the attention of critics, most of whom concur wholeheartedly with my assessment of its sheer beauty and genius. It took front man Kevin Shields over 20 years to release its follow-up and I would guess that this was because after he listened back to Loveless upon its completion, he realized that he would never be able to top it. From start to finish, this guitar-heavy, dreamy suite of songs transports the listener into a world of joyous emotional psychedelia with interweaving riffs drowning out the ethereal vocals until they’re nothing more than another instrument in the 64 track onslaughts of effects-laden guitar gorgeousness.
Here’s “Soon”, the album’s softly upbeat coda, followed by “Only Shallow”, its deceptively jarring opening track. But don’t base your opinion on these alone. The songs on Loveless bleed into one another, creating what is essentially one long piece meant to be heard from beginning to end. Also, it should initially be taken in with headphones if one wishes to hear the myriad meticulous sonic subtleties that reveal themselves more fully with each repeated listen. Enough out of me. Dig some MBV: