The Sound of Love
A. Ricciuti | 11/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received this album over a year ago, from Amazon. I figured it was a good time for a new sound. I had read about it in a few places, where it got enormous amounts of praise. I ordered it without even listening. I guess I tend to give in to hype. I finally listened to it as I was embarking on an evening walk through the streets of Leominster, MA. I had squeezed my dated portable CD player into my jeans pocket.
It ended up being one of the best walks I ever took.
Loveless is one of the most beautiful, enigmatic, and unique recordings I have ever had the pleasure to hear in my short life. To me, it is more than an exceptional shoegaze album. I believe it trascends that genre as something completely peerless.
When I listen to Loveless, two things come to mind. Firstly, it reminds me of a hot shower. It has that same warm sensation, feeling like hot water washing over my whole body. It even resembles the heavenly drone a shower makes. Yes, I know that's just a noise, but then this is a fairly noisy album. It's not noisy in a vitriolic way, though. It's more of a soothing noise.
Secondly, it sounds like love. You know, that if an abstract noun like love made a noise, it would sound something like this. It's ironic, I know, considering the title.
Loveless also sports an excellent album cover. I think it implies what the music sounds like quite well.
Then there's "Only Shallow", the first track. It's a perfect way to begin an album. You hear two drum beats and then WOOSH, you're swept up in a mindblowing sonic storm of guitar riffs and drones. Then the tender, spacey female vocals kick in. It's nothing short of amazing.
I suppose this album isn't for everyone. Maybe you don't like showers. Maybe you don't care for "noise" or feedback in music. Maybe you like being cynical about hyped albums (I think a term commonly used is "sacred cow"). Whatever. To each his own."
Like nothing else, even with its own genre
Christopher Culver | 11/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an album. I had followed certain bands in the "shoegazing" scene, such as Lush and Slowdive, but I never got around to hearing My Bloody Valentine's 1991 album LOVELESS, often called the style's greatest achievement. LOVELESS does feature the mainstay features of shoegazing, namely lots of flange and ethereal vocals that merge well with the guitar sonorities.
However, the album is a singular achievement. For one, it's extremely noisy. The amount of distortion here is far beyond what I expected. I should mention that this is an album that demands a good stereo system, not just cheap headphones and an iPod, for while the album is indeed still noisy, one will be able distinguish the rich layers of this seething sea of sound. And while other shoegazing bands kept their vocals submerged enough that one couldn't always hear what words exactly they were singing, My Bloody Valentine often push the vocals so into the noise that they work more often as not as pure melodic line instead of anything semantic.
Another strong feature of LOVELESS is the diversity of its 11 tracks. There are moody, contemplative tunes here, such as "To Here Knows When", "Blown a Wish" and "Sometimes". Then are extroverted rockers like "When You Sleep", "I Only Said" and "What You Want". "Touched" is an ambient interlude less than a minute long. The programme is of consistent quality, and though I might like individual tunes by, say, Slowdive slightly more than anything by My Bloody Valentine, on that band's albums I'm constantly skipping tracks, while nothing on LOVELESS is filler.
I would recommend LOVELESS to anyone who enjoys fine indie rock."