This album grows on me with every listen. Feels like trying to remember music you heard in a dream
Loveless is the second studio album by the Irish-English rock band My Bloody Valentine. It was released November 4, 1991 in the United Kingdom by Creation Records and in the United States by Sire Records. The album was recorded between February 1989 and September 1991, with vocalist and guitarist Kevin Shields leading sessions and experimenting with guitar vibrato, nonstandard tunings, digital samplers, and meticulous production methods. The band hired nineteen different studios and several engineers during the album's prolonged recording, with its final production cost rumoured to have reached £250,000 (equivalent to £480,000 in 2021). Preceded by the EPs Glider (1990) and Tremolo (1991), Loveless reached number 24 on the UK Albums Chart and was widely praised by critics for its sonic innovations and Shields' "virtual reinvention of the guitar". However, after its release, Creation owner Alan McGee dropped the band from the label as he found Shields too difficult to work with, a factor alleged to have contributed to the label's eventual bankruptcy. My Bloody Valentine struggled to record a follow-up to the album and broke up in 1997, making Loveless their last full-length release until m b v in 2013. Since its release, Loveless has been widely cited by critics as one of the greatest albums of all time, a landmark work of the shoegaze subgenre, and as a significant influence on various subsequent artists. In 2012, it was reissued as a two-CD set, including remastered tracks and a previously unreleased half-inch analogue tape version, and peaked on several international charts. In 2013, Loveless was certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry.
This album grows on me with every listen. Feels like trying to remember music you heard in a dream
For years I though My Bloody Valentine were a shitty emo band but only recently I found out I was completely wrong and they are excellent.
Definitely a noise pop type album with no singing really, just mumbles and moans. It's all very unpleasant to listen to. Has a very 90's sound, it has not aged well at all.
Kevin Shields you mad bastard.
I was dimly aware of shoegaze during my mid-nineties only metal phase, but I only really heard any from cheap tinny portable speakers in the sixth form common room, and it (unsurprisingly) sounded rubbish. I wish someone had sat me down with some decent headphones or otherwise indicated that this stuff was best enjoyed LOUD. There's a slim chance I woulda broadened my musical taste earlier. On the other hand, I was a self absorbed little dickhead, so probably not amenable to suggestions from any source.... Anyway, this album is badass, and played at a bone-marrow-penetrating volume it's transcendental. Fave track - "I Only Said" maybe? Doesn't make much sense to talk about the tracks in isolation on this one!
Incredible album. I feel like I'm on a cloud listening to this from all the insane guitar sounds. 5/5
No album in the past 30 years has come close to revolutionizing the guitar as an instrument as much as this LP did. Each track leaves no inch of production space unused as every inch of the sonic spectrum is slathered in crunchy mids, ridiculous amounts of feedback, and healthy dollops of reverb to round everything out. It took bankrupting a whole record label to find out that guitars could sound as alive and real as this, but it was worth every penny. This album is not without its flaws - mbv can't write a dynamic song structure to save their life, and I fully understand people who get bored with this LP. For me at least, however, the lack of dynamism is excused when the instrumentation and melodic structures are /this damn good/. 'To Here Knows When' may be the same sound and general 'aaaAAAaah' lyrics for 3 minutes on end, but hell if it isn't the most beautiful thing I've ever heard come out of a shitty tube amp. The inklings of early 'gaze on 'Isn't Anything' ignite into fully realized bliss here as artistry and instrument collide, the band's experimentation and creativity coming through clear on each song. A personal fav moment has to be the entirety of 'Sometimes' - the mental imagery for me has always been as if Shields covered the entire guitar line in gasoline and lit it ablaze, the longing and melancholy of the melodic line backlit by the warm flickers of fuzz. 30 years on, it's clear why this LP continues to inspire new generations of guitarists and musicians despite how abstract and uninviting it may seem on first listen. Who knew fucking around with pedals could create one of the best albums of all time?
Gorgeously textured, so much so that I can almost taste them. A warm, enveloping blanket. Wonderful music to smoke to, if it isn't obvious. Favorite tracks: "Only Shallow", "When You Sleep", "Soon"
I kind of liked the ethereal voices over the sounds in this album. More than I thought I would. But maybe just in little doses. That repeated phrase that was cool for 30 seconds was nice, but repeating it over the next 4 minutes kills the love. The whole album felt like a real test of my patience and endurance. “To Here Knows When” was the soundtrack to standing in the checkout line, watching the sloth movements of the sullen teenage cashier, who at one point interminably studied the list for the code for grapes, unable to find it; only when that’s all finally done to have the customer ahead write a check, which then got lost in the machine and couldn’t be retrieved despite the work of several employees, who never acknowledge you and your 12 items waiting…and waiting…
I've listened to this album probably around 20 times since I first heard it and I'm no closer to understanding what they're saying now. It just sounds so cool and I always feel totally immersed in a wave of guitar chords and ethereal vocals. 5/5
I'm sad and I listen to Loveless every night. This is one of my top 10 favorite albums of all time. Come on now.
I don't usually listen to this kind of music, but I'm inspired to say that you shouldn't trust anyone who can't appreciate ethereal vocals over heavy distortion. I wish I was in the mixing booth when this was created. I love the ending of 'What You Want' and the beginning of 'Soon.' That was a perfect song placement decision. I let the radio play and 'she found now' came and absolutely loved that song. The whole album put me in such a dreamy, angst filled mood. Good for a lazy Friday, I suppose.
Smashing Pumpkins meets The Cure meets Jesus and Mary Chain. Sure it has atmosphere and texture, but so does a porcupine in Beijing smog..
This is the best shoe gaze album of all time. It is atmospheric, occasionally discordant, and beautifully layered. This album is almost like looking at something through frosted glass and gives me a nostalgic sense for something I’ve never experienced. It is absolutely breathtaking
One of my all time favourites. Shoegaze is the completely wrong term for this as it is a sonic onslaught. It is one of the best albums released in 1991 and it had some tough competition. I hold seeing them live in November 1991 as one of the most memorable shows I've been to and the one which no doubt caused me the most hearing damage.
Dreamy vocals just underneath fuzzy guitars, a tuneful bass, and reliable unobtrusive drums. What's not to love? Surprisingly relaxing and good to work to, this album feels noisy but with intent. Droning with a purpose. I can't tell what any of the words are so the voices just act like more instruments. Hard to pick out individual songs (except perhaps the last track, the totally danceable "Soon") but things do change enough that, as an album, this is a great listen that I want to start over as soon as I've finished. Up to now, shoegaze has been my least favorite genre but maybe now things are changing...I love this!
Dun dun dun dun WOOOAAAAAA WOOOUUUUA WOOOOEEEEEA WOOOUUUU *incoherent moans* A goddamn work of art this one is
first song, the moment they sang, i'm in love <3 which is expected bc I say this is one of my genre and i can't believe I've never tried listening to them before (aaah right i know now why, they're not on spotify!). i like Sometimes best I think, When you sleep for lyrics and peak shoegazeness. Blowin a wish din pala. outro of what you want!
Noisy perfection. 5/5 doesn’t cut it. Widely imitated, never bettered. Nothing comes close. The sound of falling out of a plane. I imagine.
One of my favourite albums and a seminal record for anyone who is interested in the Indie scene of the 1990's. I would imagine this album could be quite polarizing - while the band's rich, melodic, dreamy soundscapes are likely the most appealing aspect of the album (the verses on 'Only Shallow', 'Looper', 'When You Sleep', 'Come in Alone', 'Sometimes'), MBV also incorporates rather jarring sound effects in many of these same tracks. The net effect, for me, is incredibly enjoyable, but when you take these more experimental elements and combine them with the signature muted vocals, this might not be for everyone.
5* album, with apologies to MBV for having not listened sooner because I confused them with emo twats My Chemical Romance and Bullet For My Valentine. Turns out I love shoegaze. Who knew?
This album divides opinion enormously amongst my friends but, when I'm in the mood, I find it utterly amazing. Gigantic and transcendent and thrilling.
Fuzzy, warm, melancholic, nostalgic walls of noise that completely envelop you, simultaneously strange yet familiar. The music is characterized by simple pop structures but filled with so much reverb distortion and subtle shifts in pitch, channels, and volume that it feels so distant. Lyrics are among the most mesmerizing I've seen, but too bad I can't understand without looking them up. This is mbv's most consistent album, feeling like one giant haze if not for the sudden cuts that catch you off guard. Some of the most beautiful songs I've heard are on this album, with my favorite being "When You Sleep." Just like with Ride, I could hear the 60s British rock influence in many like "I Only Said", which would later influence Britpop. There are things I love about every track. Not to mention every song has superb vocals, songwriting, mixing, and effects. Not a second wasted, with plenty of attention smoothing out the rough edges. Doesn't ever feel forced, yet somehow every song feels complete. Perfect track ordering, and I like how tracks segway into each other, although it could be a bit startling at times. Intro sets the theme, and the closer grabs your attention one more time before you fall off to sleep for a final hurrah. I always learn something on every listen. Listening to this album gets me to stop and re-appreciate music for real. If any album deserves a perfect score, it's this one.
The second album from this Irish band and what many to consider to be the pinnacle of the Shoegaze genre (obscure vocals, guitar distortion and effects). This album was recorded over two years using 19 different studios where band leader Kevin Shields was aiming for perfection. The album cost lots of money and the band never released another album after that in this time frame. They did reunite in 2013. The music can best be described as a unique, distorted, churning guitar sound driving the songs with other guitars, sampling and keyboards (I think) used variously for the melody. About half the songs have drums (drum loops). The vocals are split between Shields and Belinda Butcher and act more as instruments. They go great against the music. I've never have or will try to remotely decipher the lyrics or what they're singing about. To me, this is an amazing achievement of sound and guitars in essentially creating a unique atmosphere. I don't if I've heard anything quite like it since. However, to be honest, I would not recommend listening to this album if you're hung over; that guitar might really be irritating. Every song is worth a listen just to hear what Shields is doing with the guitar sound. Some highlighted songs; both "When You Sleep" and "What You Want" are more traditional rock songs with drums, that churning guitar as rhythm and other guitars/keyboards for the melody...my two favorite songs on the album. "Soon" use drumbeats (loops) to incredibly create a dance-type song. Guitars still churning. Many consider this one of the best albums of the 90's and I would agree.
Sonically innovative and deceptively layered, this record is the apogee of shoegaze. The dense, hypnotic atmosphere is created from a host of oxymoronic qualities: at once strong yet soft, up-tempo yet relaxed, lustful yet distant. Deliberately obscure lyricism adds to the instrumental quality of the wistful, lost-in-the-mix vocals of Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher, and Shields’ guitar work manages to virtually reinvent the instrument’s place in rock music. Standout Tracks: Only Shallow, When You Sleep, Sometimes, Blown a Wish
Like being thrown into a constant, swirling ocean of droning guitars and feedback. A giant wall of sound, initially impenetrable, soon gives way to striking melodies and songs, and an album that is downright stunning for the most part.
I love it when the Generator picks an album that’s been a favorite of mine for years.
I really love everything about this album and yet have always wished there was slightly more structure to the songs - if only because the stuff that feels more like a traditional arrangement is so freaking good. But really, I’m just not aware of anything that quite sounded like this before they unleashed it onto the world. Now? Like 20 million bands borrowing elements from this sound. That’s probably praise enough.
I have tried so hard to understand the appeal of this almost universally praised album...BUT I CAN'T! No denying it's uniqueness. It's supposed to be influential but I can't think of another album that sounds like it. I actually like their previous album; isn't Anything. As I type this the last two songs that have come on...Sometimes and Come in Alone are better, more melodic, more to my liking. Still tough to rise above a 2 star rating. I'll wait until the end to post. The last song Soon finally has a discernable beat... sounds like it could be on Isn't Anything why can't more songs be like this one. Today's lasting impression 2nd half of the album MUCH better than first. I will give it another shot. 2.75 stars
Fuck yes Best tracks: Only Shallow, Blown A Wish
An obvious all time classic, fuzzy and dreamy and weird and full of emotion.
I can't be impartial; this is one of my favourite albums of all time. I love the shoegaze sound that just washes over you, the way they make their guitars sound is incredible. Favourite track: "Only Shallow." Least favourite: "Sometimes."
I love "only shallow". I think it sounds more contemporary than it is? Though does have some like cranberries vibes maybe? and maybe a bit of sonic youth lite in the guitar distortion + female vocals read the wiki article on its recording saga, kevin shields sounds like a twat.
Dreamy. So so dreamy. I think I need to pay more attention next time, but I got utterly lost in it all.
This sounds very much like 1991 and also very timeless too. I never listened to mbv at the time
Every hipster band on the planet dabbles in shoegaze these days, none have ever come close to this masterpiece.
What an excellent seminal album this is. The sounds, the riffs, the entire concept from start to finish.
It is a distinct piece of art from beginning to end, an immaculate singular mood.
I remember the first listen, totally blown away. Still am
It’s one of my favorite albums. The waves of dissonance with the monotone vocals. The immersive wall of sound is so perfectly mirrored in the album art. It’s really a treat every time I hear it
An awesome quiet-loud record. There are those who believe this is overrated. I vehemently disagree. The tension of noise vs. melody is palpable. One of the best releases in the 90s.
The ultimate shoegaze masterpiece. Such a great album one of my favourites. Can see why it’s not to everyone’s tastes but that’s what art is all about. An album that takes time and effort to enjoy but once you get it you can’t stop coming back to it.
So many great albums lately! Anyway, this is an album I would imagine is polarizing but I'm all for it. So much noise and beauty. MBV was a special band. Classic. Total classic.
Absolute masterpiece of an album. What a treat.
Staple of college art in the early '90s. Best listened to on your back, in a pitch black room staring at the ceiling with a favorite teenage crush.
One of the best sounding records to emerge from the 90’s. I genuinely can’t comprehend how Shields produced such an intense and dense wall of noise while managing to maintain dreamy vibe and pop sound of the songs. I think it’s fair to assume that a decent amount of my favorite records of the late 90’s and forward wouldn’t exist without Loveless. A legacy almost as massive as it’s sound.
Peak MBV. Peak shoegaze (along with Souvlaki by Slowdive). Absolutely insane that Kevin Shields was able to create something so dreamy which at the same time insists on having an intimate connection with the listener.
Hazy, enticing, melancholic, heartfelt barriers of noise that take you into their warm cocoon. Simultaneously weird yet inviting. My favorite album from 1991, beating Massive Attack's *Blue Lines* and Nirvana's *Nevermind*, That's evidence enough for me that's it's a masterpiece, given who had the second and third slot. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 816 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 99 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 46 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 41
Is this my favorite album of all time? Yes.
This sounds exactly like most of the music I listen to everyday. My Bloody Valentine started, and pretty much mastered, the art of shoegazing. I would even argue, that after initial critic of the vocalist, I started to appreciate the full sound of this album, Kevin Shields included. There is a really high chance that many of the metal genres, that followed My Bloody Valentines route, wouldn't exist, or would take much longer to crystallise. Wall of sound is one of my favourite elements in music, when done properly, of course, and I can only be forever thankful to the band to introducing us to this fenomenal style. Excellent stuff.
One of my all time favorite albums. I listened to it four times through just for this review. Why do I love it so much? It's so innovative, so different. It really gave birth to a new genre (shoegaze) and it's still the best album ever released in that genre (at least in my opinion). The music is like nothing else. It wraps you up in a soundbath, like you are hearing it from underwater, or perhaps most aptly, from inside the womb. Gorgeously textured and nuanced. A thoughtfully conceived album and beautifully executed. This deserves its place on this list and maybe even on the top 10 best albums of all time. 5/5
A record quite unlike anything that came before it, or has come since. Kevin Shields painstakingly crafted a dense quagmire of guitars waving in and out of tune and overdriven to the point of bursting through the speakers along with shimmering gusts of breathy vocals - it’s murky yet so vibrant and a masterclass in sound production. And thus came the definitive statement of shoegaze… Listening to this record, with which I was already very familiar, on vinyl really hammers home just how perfectly every microscopic detail comes together in this collage of noise. Tracks seemlessly blend one into the other, you’ll go from an ethereal instrumental to the raucous favourite “When You Sleep” before “Sometimes” carries you into another realm of aural pleasure. The sequencing is absolutely impeccable. I read recently about how Shields’ notoriously meticulous recording process resulted in about twenty takes of a tambourine which is buried somewhere in this album. But you’ll probably hear it eventually - after each listen something new reveals itself, and it hasn’t dated for even a microsecond. This was the Dark Side of the Moon for the 90s - and in keeping with this idea, it betters that record and then some. There’s no pre-tense here, or grandiose pomposity. It really does sound like the future even today. As close to a perfect record as you could possibly ask for. One of the greatest of all time. Favourite tracks: “When You Sleep”, “Sometimes”, “What You Want”
7/10. Have seen it on many 'top albums of all time' lists but I don't really get the hype. There's some good songs on here (Only Shallow is great) but its not as good as everyone makes it out to be. Still an enjoyable album!
Fitting to get this one right after it's been officially added to streaming services! If you showed me just the first track and told me "this is what shoegaze is", I'd be totally hooked. Unfortunately, I feel the album falls off a bit and loses a good bit of it's edge that got me hooked. While the flood of reverb is nice to listen to, the way it's used doesn't impress me nearly as much throughout the rest of the album. Despite all this, the album still comes across as a stellar and unique listening experience, so hats off to mbv for killing it with this album.
A classic album, and one that requires more than one listen to fully appreciate. Like all shoe gaze it's a bit hard to discern one song from another but the overall vibe is fuzzy, heavy, gloomy. Would be great live. Misses out on a 5 due to a lack of variation through the album, but still a classic. 4.5/5
Experimental art rock that was way ahead of its time for 1991. Can clearly hear the influences on other rock acts of the 90s and all types of acts today. Abrasive and dissonant at times and those vocals are so soft, but very musically interesting and kept my attention the entire time. Would rate 4.5/5 if possible. Favourite Tracks: Only Shallow, Loomer, Come In Alone, Soon
I seem to have completely missed out on this band for some weird reason (I'm 55) and now I've discovered them it's good news for me and slightly dubious for my wife and kids who don't share my musical taste. It's like an immersive experience and needs to be played loud with incense and alcohol. Heavy guitar driven, distorted with mumbled muted vocals and drums/bass to carry it along. There are discerable tunes and since they were late 80s- early 90s they obviously must have influenced a lot of the later bands I'd expect. A happy day for me albeit slightly embarassed.
1991 and look at them setting trends of naming everything in lowercase. i thought this would all be very edgy and all, but actually surprisingly chill songs here. i like 'touched'
If smoke were sound, it would be this. Music to get lost in.
Mmm veryy good
Though it is sonically rich and adventurous, Loveless ends up being a cold, clinical and monolithic affair overall.
A tough one. There's a lot I've liked about this - the essential furry sound of droning early 90s mega-distorted guitars; so much you can't even identify strings being played - acoustic chords strumming atop - more a sense of feel overall than the songs going in a hard and fast direction. A dreamscape of music. But it's often too much. I love a low vocal mix but this is so low as to become barely noticed. And that variable-speed effect on most of the songs ....? It's terribly disorienting. You're left with this feeling akin to an aural seasickness which i'm sure was the intent and might be cool/different/interesting for one verse of one song but over and over makes it disconcerting. Many of the positives I like from this record were for me done better by the best of Smashing Pumpkins at the same time on Gish, with a better mix and better dynamics (any dynamics, really). Hard to rate - I've heard it now and again and maybe need to really lose myself in it more to appreciate it fully; next time I'm feeling super-emo I'll try to fight through the tears and remember to put this on. Because I go back and forth i'll cut it down the middle - it's really interesting at times but doesn't give me chills either. Worth a listen for everyone tho since I can't really compare it to many other bands. 6/10 3 stars
Makes me seasick
I like some of it but can't enjoy the rougher avant garde noise because I'm old.
A fascinating listen. While I don't imagine coming back to much here, the style and early pioneering of shoegaze on this album really was so interesting that I couldn't in good conscience score it below a 3. It's like some weird modern art piece that oddly captivates you - while you won't hang it in your house to look at it every day, it's very interesting to observe while you're at the museum.
This is the second album I've had by this band on here, and the second time I've wondered why. Is there a reason anyone needs to hear shoegaze before they die? Is it coincidence if it makes me want to kill myself? Occasionally this album accidentally breaks into something resembling melody and song structure - "when you sleep" being the obvious example - but only for a few moments before going back to its reverb and feedback safe space. It's like listening to a garage band whose guitarist has just bought a multi-effects pedal and can only go a couple of minutes before fucking around with dumb sounds no one else cares about. 2/5.
I can hack this in small doses, but after a while the fuzzy, abstruse nature of the music all just blends into a monotonous melange. Perhaps I'm simply not in the right mood? What would be the right mood? And how crap would this sound without any feedback?
Lots of distortion on this one. Meh.
Dreampop is immer so a Sache...
I appreciate the sounds they were making especially given the timeframe. They were obviously pushing the limits of the traditional rock sound, however, it's not a style I would go back to.
This album has a reputation of being like the best shoegaze album ever, which must mean that I’m just not a big fan of shoegaze. Wasn’t bad but def wasn’t a fan
Are my headphones broken? Is there something wrong with Spotify? Oh apparently it's supposed to sound like this... I'm not sure what to think of this one. On the one hand there's certainly a unique charm to this, and I can understand how it could work its way into someones favorites. The songs, while pedestrian, are catchy and generally pleasant to listen to once the shock has worn off. They've also decided not to capitalise any of the titles. How statement-y of them. That said, I find the songwriting a little underwhelming. The best moments on the album are when they go beyond the conventional pop-punk format such as with 'touched' . The instrumentation warrants little comment. Expect no Jimi Hendrix here, this is all pretty basic, run-of-the-mill stuff. The sonic weirdness here seems to be the main attraction. While at points it has its charm, and certainly is unlike anything I've heard before, the effect hardly blows me away. Taking all that into account, I'd say 2.5 stars is appropriate. This is, by no means, a bad album, despite the general mediocrity of the compositions I found it an enjoyable experience, but seems to me to be more or less a curiosity - generally middle-of-the-road pop-punk songs with some interesting effects laid over them.
This album should be called "Mediocre Megalomaniac." Even his band mates hardly wanted to go near it. I can't even imagine what it must be like trying to work with Kevin Shields in any capacity. It's no wonder Billy Corgan admires this album so much. It's his fantasy: a musical autocrat seizing total control while holding his label hostage. And for what? Perhaps the biggest fuss ever made over something so utterly boring. I've tried to listen to this in the past and never understood it. Still don't. It just leaves me feeling numb. I strongly believe that the best music is made by collaboration, despite differences, rather than fetishizing these stories of lone geniuses forcing their inarticulate visions on everyone else. Learn to fucking communicate rather than judge and belittle everyone around you. This album is not the hard won labors of a misunderstood genius, it's the creative death throes of an insufferable prick.
shoe gays Didn't mind, didn't care for
I don't like gazing. Especially staring at my shoes.
The sound engineer must have misheard the distortion setting. Everything is mixed so oddly - maybe that's the thing. So what would be the better elements are lost. This is probably dynamic in a live setting with a full stack of amps and the band really getting into foot tapping mode. Overall it's cack.
Moon safari was a very appropriate title.
I adore this album
Knew this one
Loudest album ever.
classic shoegaze. one of my all timers
Great shoe gaze album. A great full sound and great guitar.
already in the collection..5 star depending on mood!
Great. Loved it
Classic alert! Great album, I've known this one for a while. It took me ages to realise there were two vocalists on this, their voices sound so similar..
Such a moody album. Feels like floating for 45 minutes on end. Gorgeous tones and breathy vocals make this an album for the ages.
noisy, textured - pretty tricky to listen to but 5 stars for the effort
Dreamy and ethereal and noisy
starting out with a classic
This was a hugely influential album for me and I listened to it well over 100 times; because I get like that when I love an album.
Feels very 90s rock