Classic Album Review: My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless

An album like nothing before

Classic Album Review: My Bloody Valentine's Loveless

Michael Sparkman, Staff Reporter

I must have been fourteen or fifteen years old when I first heard Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. It was an album like nothing I had ever heard before. Sure, I could tell that those were guitars blaring at me, and drums too, and those voices sounded at least partially human, but it seemed to be entirely new, yet familiar. The melodies and textures sounded so fresh, the music untethered by convention, but immediately accessible.  

Despite the unintelligibility of most of the vocals on Loveless, the record triggered unique shades and mixtures of emotion for me. The sounds seemed to put me inside the heads of their creators, or at least allow me to see through their eyes. This rare virtue of the album reminded me that art serves the purpose of communicating something more abstract and often more meaningful than can be done in conversation.

Songs like “When You Sleep” and “What You Want” were particularly appealing to me because they couldn’t be pinned down as “love songs” or “breakup songs” or “songs about death.” There was some ambiguity to the meaning of the songs, just as our lives are a huge series of experiences that allow whatever meaning may exist to be interpreted by the “listener.”

Maybe Loveless sounds so otherworldly because it is the work of a group of people interacting creatively and making use of their uniqueness, even their individual idiosyncrasies, rather than trying to emulate what has come before. Every time I listen to Loveless, I am reminded that the people behind the music are gifted, but not superhuman. They simply expressed themselves to the world in a genuine, beautiful way.