MBV On The Second Day.

February 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm (Uncategorized)

Let me start this by first saying “Thanks” to anyone who’s visited the blog for the first time over the last day.  Crazily enough, yesterday and today are the two biggest traffic days we’ve had here in a few years.  Hopefully my slightly-buzzed first impressions of my initial listening of the new My Bloody Valentine record were at least semi-entertaining or partially informative or something.

I’ve now listened to the record at least a half-dozen times, and individual songs more than that.  My first impressions of a few songs have held up well.  “who sees you”, “in another way”, and “only tomorrow” are my three favorite songs on the album at the moment.  “is this and yes” is absolutely my least-favorite, and I stand by my observation that it sounds like a Stereolab outtake.

With that said, a few songs have risen in stature for me with repeat listens.  This record is definitely deep; it’s a grower that reveals more and more about itself with further listens.  For instance the first song on the record, “she found now”, kind of underwhelmed me the first spin through.  Now it’s slowly becoming one of my favorite tracks.  It’s a deep, deep song, and more and more I understand and really respect Kevin Shields for making that the leadoff track here.  I’ve also grown in respect for “new you”.  An internet buddy of mine who I know only as “Charmtrap” had this to say about it last night:  “pretty catchy, sounds like a blurry version of an 80’s blue-eyed-soul singer…think Paul Young or Rick Astley or Swing Out Sister.”  I think that’s an astute observation, and I can absolutely hear what he’s talking about.  What I’m also realizing though is that there’s some kind of mad genius at work here subverting that obvious song structure, knocking it to hell and then rebuilding it as something that’s absolutely My Blood Valentine.  I’ve also got to give some props to the final three songs here; although only “in another way” made a good first impression, and though I sort of hated “nothing is” first time through, I’m finding that taken as a whole, the last three tracks here have become something more than the sum of their individual parts.

If I can continue to bring up brilliant points that folks smarter than me have made regarding this, (and I can!) I’d like to also credit my buddy madkevin (no, he’s not THAT Kevin), who correctly points out that one of the unsung heroes of this record is MBV drummer Colm O’Cíosóig.  (By the way, something I’ve wondered since 1988:  how the hell do you pronounce “O’Cíosóig” without spraining your tongue?)  I never knew this, but MK points out that Colm was ill during much of the recording of Loveless, partially explaining his diminished presence there.  I’ve always thought that his drumming on Isn’t Anything and particularly  “Feed Me With Your Kiss” is of an appropriately Moon-ish bonkers craziness, so that explains that.  At any rate, O’Cíosóig is definitely given a big role to play on the new record, and his percussive flights drive some of the songs as much as Shields’s guitars.

Finally, I think the best thing I’ve read about the new record was said by yet another internet friend, known to me only as Hotfreak.  He opines thusly:  “It’s not as blisteringly beautiful as Loveless or rockingly energetic as Isn’t Anything. It’s older, more studied, but less afraid to be seen.” I agree with that.  It’s a move forward and away from their past that’s still enough informed of where they’ve been that its totally recognizable.

Oh, and also:  it’s a very good record, worthy of your money, time, and listens.

If you’re on the fence and want to hear the whole thing, well, the band wants that, too.  They’ve placed every song in fairly high quality audio on their own Youtube channel, and a good place to stream them all back-to-back is right here.

That’s it for now.  I have a Super Bowl party to go enjoy.  Happy listening!

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