I've reopened this blog after 5 years in hiatus for reasons...that I'm bored. I've been listening to podcasts a lot and there is this one favorite podcast named 'Great Albums'. Two guys talk about great albums of their choosing every week for about two hours. And it's just informative and entertaining to listen to. So I figured maybe I should try a podcast of similar nature and then soon dropped it, just too much work to do. But instead I just revived this blog to talk about my 'Great Albums', which means it may not be your great albums. But everything in life is subjective and diverse which is what makes it so interesting and entertaining. I'm sure most of you will agree with the albums of my choosing but there will be haters, and those who have other opinions are all welcome to comment and give me your feedback (..if anybody even visits this blog).
So enough of the introduction, and let's get right to the first choice. 'Loveless' album, you either worship it or hate it but anybody who listens to popular music will know it. Actually, I didn't get to listen to this album almost 10 years after its release. I've always loved the genre of noise-rock, dream-pop and shoegaze but most of it really predates to MBV, so most of my favorites are from the 80s. Reason being I completely drifted away from the music scene in the 90s due to studies and personal matters. Maybe one of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of Grunge or Brit-pop that swept the whole of 90s music scene.
So by the time I actually got to listen to Loveless as a whole album, the album already had an impressive accolades and reception from both the critics and musicians. So I had big expectations when I first listened to the album, and to tell the truth the first impression just didn't add up to my high expectations. It was one of those albums that you had to comeback for repeated listens with time. Anyways, I actively started listening to the albums that I had missed out during the 90s such as Ride, Slowdive, Verve, Curve, Pale Saints and so on...basically most of the leaders in shoegaze genre. Once I got to understand the genre and really fell in love with the whole 90s shoegaze scene, it was time to listen to Loveless, that one album everybody was talking about. In just less than 10 years the album became the critics favor and been put on a pedestal of modern rock music. I doubt they'll ever get an award at the Grammys and even make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the album has become a big influence among those musicians and artists who may will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But, frankly my first listen was like "What!?'. But eventually I began to hear its pure gems in the album. Now it is probably one of my top 3 albums of all time. If you still haven't found the preciousness of this album then I suggest you give it some more listens, on the speakers, through the ear pods and headphone, in home, while walking or in the car. It will eventually get hold of you, and you will begin to see why this album is held so high among the critics and the masses.
As you may already know, the rumors surrounding the making of this album was costly, timely and painstakingly horrible. Rumors have it that Creation label bankrupted due to the cost of making this album, Kevin Shields denies it, who knows? Maybe it's true. But all these rumors revealed Kevin Shields obsessive behavior for perfection. It's this character of Shields that made their next album MBV come out 22 years later in 2013, also a great album that needs to be talked about in another post. Anyways, I had the great opportunity to see them in 2013 just after the release of MBV. It was probably the loudest concert I've ever been to, but I was prepared because I've read and followed this band like an obsession since I fell in love. 'You Made Me Realise' was definitely a noise holocaust. Throughout the concert Shields would stop the band to tweak the guitar or get the sounds and effects to his liking and maybe just too many times to the point that audience got annoyed and even bored. One of the reasons why this show was booed by so many attendants of the show, and I get it. But somehow in midst of this I saw for the first time why Shields was so attacked by so many producers and technicians he worked with. Shields definitely has an issue with his perfectionist obsessive behavior. And if you're not a die-hard fan you are not going to understand this and accept his behavior on the stage. This was one concert you had to go in by not just listening to their albums over and over, but you really had to understand what this band is and more specifically whom Kevin Shields really is. If you had that understanding then some of his behaviors on stage could be understood and enjoy the show more. Unfortunately most of the people who went to the concert came with little understanding of the band or the music. They were there because this legendary shoegaze band is putting on a show after more than 20 years in hiatus. And with such high expectations for this band to put on a perfect concert was only in their wishes, had you known about the band's past performances and shows you may not have been disappointed.
Back to the album, the whole album when you break it down and loose all that guitar tremolos and wall of sound you get a near perfect pop album. The songs are laden with hooks after hooks and melodies that just hum in the back of your head after each listen. All things considered I believe this to be a great pop album. Songs like 'Sometimes', 'Soon' and 'Only Shallow' are great pieces of pop music writing. I hear people complaining about the vocals and you can't hear what they're saying. But I think this is all too intentional on Shields part. You can't begin to realise that vocals are just another instrumentation that Shields used; he probably thought vocals as just another addition to musical instrumentation rather than the vocal as we see it, this is my guess and who knows what his intensions were. But if you accept the fact that vocals are just merely there to supplement the music then you understand why you can't hear or even figure out the vocals in their concerts. This was also one of major complaints from those who attended the show.
For me this album will stand the time and evolution. Even today when I'm in the right mood this whole album just give me goose bumps and sounds still new. Now if you're not familiar with this album or just put it aside after one or two listens then give it a few more chances, one day it'll hit you before you even realise it..."MBV Made Me Realise! "
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