M B V - My Bloody Valentine
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. The perfect album, albums with no filler, albums that when over, leave you breathless and don't inspire you to want more music from the band, but make you want to listen to the album from the start, all over again; m b v is that album.
  2. Feb 13, 2013
    100
    It’s as if they’ve recaptured innocence. It’s the only way to describe what you feel had to have happened in order for the band to preserve the very essence of what was the music of their youth, in such a way that goes beyond replication.
  3. 100
    This is a new My Bloody Valentine and it is excellent.
  4. MBV leaves all other post-rock experimentalists looking like trivial dilettantes. If jet engines could sing, these would be their hymns.
  5. 100
    m b v creates a new timeline for My Bloody Valentine, and one that recalls the past in a broader and bolder light. They’re better for it, their catalog is stronger for it, and by album’s end, they’re still the best at swirling guitars.
  6. Feb 6, 2013
    100
    It sounds amazing, and represents an astounding return.
  7. Feb 6, 2013
    100
    The songs on m b v, however, are more melodically complex, intriguing and often pleasing than anything he has written before.
  8. Feb 7, 2013
    95
    Twenty-two years in the making or not, this is a return that captivates, excites, and is relentless in its grab for your attention. It's the perfect comeback.
  9. Feb 6, 2013
    95
    My Bloody Valentine successfully followed up a decades-old classic with m b v, an album that stands as confidently, beautifully and masterfully composed as its predecessor.
  10. Feb 7, 2013
    94
    While m b v is a record that is more than capable of standing on its own, at the same time it also sounds exactly like the sort of thing that we might have expected My Bloody Valentine to produce two decades ago, and this noticeable lack of allegiance to the present is perhaps the most potent thing about this entire revisionist affair.
  11. Feb 6, 2013
    91
    You get lost in it, and if you're wired a certain way that mixture of desire and confusion is easy to map on to the wider world. For 22 years, the only way to get there was through Loveless and its associated EPs; now there's another path, one many of us never expected to find.
  12. Feb 6, 2013
    91
    Regardless of whether it’s an echo of the past or a bridge to the future, MBV stands as something potentially timeless--and immediately breathtaking.
  13. Apr 16, 2013
    90
    The noise that's here is lovely, heartbreaking, expansive and raw. [No. 97, p.58]
  14. Whether approached with the utmost skepticism or the most fervent zeal, m b v proves itself not merely a reputable album, but a spectacular and unforgettable experience.
  15. Feb 19, 2013
    90
    A few twists and turns shy of perfection, m b v is the innovation and sonic warmth of My Bloody Valentine rekindled and made anew.
  16. Feb 14, 2013
    90
    You’ll be hard pressed to find another album that’s this much fun to crawl inside.
  17. 90
    Against all odds, My Bloody Valentine managed to put together an album that keeps enough of the elements that made us cherish Loveless, while stretching their sonic palette just enough to keep things interesting.
  18. 90
    It triumphs not as a continuation of a musical conversation that Isn’t Anything and Loveless began, but by forging its own distinct modern dialogue, one that at once sounds rooted in its own imaginative time and place, perhaps even dimension, with any telling outside influences dissipating as soon as the songs truly take their pleasurable hold.
  19. Feb 7, 2013
    90
    The legend behind m b v, as well as its songs, have created something many will talk about for much longer than it’s taken to arrive.
  20. Feb 6, 2013
    90
    Twenty-two years later, My Bloody Valentine is still the band everyone's talking about, and although it may not necessarily build on Loveless, there's no audible reason m b v shouldn't be spoken of in the same hushed, venerating tones.
  21. Feb 6, 2013
    88
    It's an album that seemingly could have come out in 1996 just as easily as today. Even the song titles feel familiar: "Only Tomorrow," "Is This and Yes," "Nothing Is." Having said that, it's lovely.
  22. 88
    It's everything its fans have been pining for the past two decades.
  23. Mar 12, 2013
    80
    MBV isn't perfect; sometimes the songs do drag, but the brilliant moments are so brilliant, and the exciting moments so exciting that you'll forgive them. [Apr 2013, p.108]
  24. Mar 1, 2013
    80
    Overall, then, mbv is more of a time capsule than a box of surprises, but the contents have survived in immaculate condition. [Apr 2013, p.64]
  25. Feb 28, 2013
    80
    MBV is a successful return. [Mar 2013, p.49]
  26. Feb 12, 2013
    80
    It’s obviously well-crafted and well-executed.
  27. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    More comforting than revelatory, M B V reaffirms that My Bloody Valentine are one of a kind; the subtlety to their melodies, instrumentation, and the way they blur together belongs to them alone.
  28. 80
    MBV is not really an album at all, but an oeuvre in fast-forward.
  29. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    The album’s major problem, more than anything, is that such a flabbergastingly brilliant end stretch hints at a better record that might have been, a furiously abrasive set of drum’n’gaze (sorry) that would have completely blindsided all of us, rather than the enjoyable grab bag of dreamy old and in yer face new that we in fact get.
  30. Feb 11, 2013
    80
    This, finally, is the stuff people have been waiting a young lifetime to hear. It more than passes muster.
  31. 80
    [The first three] tracks follow fairly seamlessly on from MBV's previous work, but thereafter subtle changes are applied that tug the album into pastures new.
  32. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    There's clearly something here, there's an evolution in what Shields is doing. But, is it any good? Yes. Is it better than 'Loveless'? Probably not--and it's unfair to compare it to a predecessor that we've had two decades to live with and love. Given its gestation, it perhaps suffers from being a less cohesive body of work.
  33. Feb 8, 2013
    80
    Despite the skull-crushing power, MBV is music that rewards close listening, music that takes its time to give up its secrets.
  34. Feb 7, 2013
    80
    While there’s nothing quite as disorienting and alien as Loveless’s dramatic opening song, Only Shallow, there’s notable evolution in both the songwriting and sound, and the overall flow of the album actually seems tighter.
  35. 80
    Those same multilayered textures [in Loveless] are all here, and if anything there are more finely chiselled planes of fresh variation: there is a discipline as well as wildness behind the distortion.
  36. Feb 7, 2013
    80
    mbv follows its predecessor without aggrandizing its past resources, and as such, delivers a wallop of sweet, sweet distortion in a way that comes naturally to them.
  37. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    m b v is an impressive work, one in which adventurous and nostalgic listeners alike will find something to appreciate.
  38. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    Like The Eternal and The Seer, m b v is a late-period return of the repressed, a middle-aged freak-out tempered by hard-won mastery.
  39. 80
    This is vivid music, with color and texture and perhaps taste.
  40. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    While the sound of mbv is reassuringly familiar--openers “she found now” and “only tomorrow” tread melodic paths that seem strangely familiar even as they wander--its newness is remarkable.
  41. Feb 21, 2013
    78
    Overwhelmingly subtle and crushingly consuming, m b v delivers beauty in the slightest shifts and drama in its calculatedly awkward movements.
  42. 70
    MBV is no great leap forward, though it's still aeons ahead of its 21st century competition. [Apr 2013, p.98]
  43. Feb 19, 2013
    70
    Yes, it's a fine album.... It's during the songs that shift the focus from chaos to ethereal mirth that the listener can fairly wonder about whether this album should be judged as simply a regular new offering or an (almost) lost treasure.
  44. Feb 6, 2013
    70
    m b v stretches My Bloody Valentine’s sound without changing it much, and you may not be surprised to find out this is an excellent headphones record. But that’s no back-handed complement.
  45. Feb 6, 2013
    63
    Shields and his bandmates have made a transitional album, one that nods to the band’s storied peak but winds up heading in a new direction.
  46. Feb 6, 2013
    60
    It’s a good album, but not a great one, and though the long tail of history will eventually render such a long production time moot, it’s certainly not a record justifying the ludicrous wait.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 141 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
  1. Feb 8, 2013
    10
    devastatingly good, and nearly miraculous given the fact that this album had 22 years of hype behind it. i agree with some reviewer who said it's a third part opera old school mbv, new material, antidote i would actually simplify it guitars, synthesizers, percussion. the music is dynamic, some songs are forceful and ferocious, others are smooth, gentle, romantic, they all intertwine, they build on one another. it's a welcome resurgence of the beauty of the electric guitar, and a clear pointer towards new directions the band hopefully continues to follow. ace. Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2013
    10
    I am only 17, but when I was 11 and only beginning to dip my toes into alt rock, I discovered 2 albums made in 1991. Both unimaginably brilliant, they changed my life. The one, the insanely popular and seminal Nevermind from Nirvana, the other an album whose stature grew from virtually nonexistant to being nearly as, and arguably even more, influential than Nevermind. The latter, was ofcourse Loveless. I was so confounded by its innovations and inventiveness and the harsh formless beauty of the songs, so much so that I scoured the Earth in search of albums that sound similar. Guess how that went.

    I may have not had to wait 22 years like other fans, but I sort of grew comfortable with the idea that MBV would never release another album. Then the reunion happened. Rumours flew around about new songs, a possible album even. I shrugged it off. I did my research. These kinds of rumours go around every couple of years. But then the rumours started gaining momentum. I didn't want to get heartbroken, so i didn't want to pay attention, but really, I was as excited as a prepubescent girl who saw Justin Bieber. But I didn't really believe it. They said they mastered it on Facebook on the last Mayan calendar day. I still didn't believe it. In fact, I still don't. It all seems so surreal, which is extremely apt, because so does the music.

    When I downloaded m b v, I was hesitant to press play. What if it didn't live up to the massive, massive expectations? Then i played it. The first third sounded like Loveless outtakes that shouldn't have been taken out. Woozy, loud, spiralling guitars and ambiguous vocals all there, and had the rest of the album been like that, it would've been amazing too. I mean, it's been 22 years and still nobody's come close to successfully reproducing Loveless. But that isn't how MBV play it. Instead, where Loveless was driven by relentless instrumental innovation, most of m b v is driven by strong songwriting, and supplimented by the still-all-these-years-later innovative production.

    All in all this album is as beautiful and affecting a masterpiece as it should be, even if it hasn't usurped Loveless's position as the greatest shoegazing masterpiece ever. A well deserved 10/10
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    9
    22 years after making the seminal shoegaze album of the 1990's, no band came close to achieving the level of success with droning guitars and faded vocals, as My Bloody Valentine had. That is, until MBV. While it certainly is a step down from Loveless in terms of perfection, and is less erratically creative then the 1988 precursor Isn't Anything, MBV is still a step above all guitar rock today, because of the sound My Bloody Valentine has alone perfected. Whether it proves to be as timeless as it's predecessors may take another quarter century to determine, but surely this is a magnificent return, made by one of the most reclusive bands of all time. Full Review »