Jan 2009

Black Love [20th Anniversary Expanded Edition] (LP)

Originally released in 1991, what can be said about this indie rock/shoegaze masterpiece that hasn't already been said? This album is the indie rock musical equivalent of a 74 page Master's Thesis. Wait....maybe that's because I just uncovered an actual 74 page Master's Thesis by a Florida State University Graduate Student analyzing Loveless. While that might give you an idea of the complexity of Loveless, it's more than just an academic composition, it's the Pet Sounds for the college-rock generation. It's an album with unprecedentd experimentation, approach, technique and manifestation, yet it doesn't ever forget its pop foundation and timeless emotion. The album opens with one of the most abrasive, yet beautiful anti-guitar riffs of all time, and at the height of its tension, drops into a verse so aesthetically soothing you can almost feel physical weight being lifted off your shoulders, foreshadowing an emotion felt by myself and (I believe) our collective society on Presidential Inauguration Day this past January. You don't know what's waiting just around the corner, but you know you feel good. The handful of shows performed since MBV's 2007 reunion have received outstanding reviews, which will make their Coachella performance one not to miss. Besides a trio of shows in Santa Monica and NYC late last year, the upcoming performance at Coachella will be their triumphant return to the West Coast and the American music scene since dropping out of sight in the early '90s. MBV's live shows are legendary for their eardrum shattering volume output (two decibals over the threshold for pain and eardrum damage) and LA Weekly writer, Randall Roberts, described it best when he said, "To truly appreciate what MBV is doing, you actually have to damage yourself!" At Coachella we'll see if we can get any closer to answering Roberts' question, "Why must something so pretty be so dangerous?"

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