My Bloody Valentine's comeback, mbv, wasn't worth the loveless wait
Last week, boom: the band that rarely had news was full of it. A record coming out soon soon became immediately as it was almost spontaneously released on Groundhog Day at 11:58 pm as a download, with options for vinyl and CD. The climax that had been building up for 22 years came out as a premature ejaculation, complete with server crashes, a label that doesn't list them on the roster, and the announcement that the art for the vinyl and discs hadn't yet been finished.
That brings the music of MBV itself. That's the thing isn't it? Was it worth the wait? If the record had been a person, it would be full legal and out on a bender. Can it live up to the hype? The answer is: of course not, because it can't.
Critics and self-titled pundits can get as pithy as they want on their social media of choice but a secret truth about music is that for the most part the music is secondary to the experience. We like what we like in part due to the situations and the people in which we experience them. It's what we heard during that first secret kiss, it's what was playing when you met your best friend, or that time you did that outrageous thing that all your friends can't believe you did and it was so amazing.
Music is a social experience, that audience who loved Loveless as a Gospel is a good deal older now; their relationship to music -- hell, their relationship to everything -- is changed.
The record feels like 1998, and had it come out then it might be one of
my favorites. Instead it came out in 2013, and what was cutting-edge
feels like a weathered Polaroid from yesterday, a road not traveled that
seems to lead to a '90s renaissance fair. See, you can't go home again.
You can visit, sure, but you will never experience that in the same way
again. That's not so bad actually, because between you and me there was
some truly awful crap I could do without experiencing again.
I am thankful for the perspective that comes with time. It is a trait I wish Mr. Shields shared. Because his once razor-sharp cutting edge feels more like a lost album than a new path into the sonic jungle. I really wanted that new path. I wanted to see the future again, and instead I am left with nostalgia. I appreciate what I got, but its hard not to feel like a kid at Christmas that for sure knew he was getting a pony, only to get one and discover it had a "My Little" in front of it.