For the week of 2/4/2013…

“When You Sleep” by My Bloody Valentine

So over the weekend, a reconvened My Bloody Valentine self-released their long-awaited followup to their 1991 masterpiece, Loveless, which was their last album before they broke up.  It’s been reviewed quite favorably so far, but strangely enough the arrival of the new album has prompted me to listen to a whole lot of Loveless this week instead of looking up the new record.  I’m not a big fan of shoegazing music, and certainly not of the “neo-shoegaze”/dream-pop so adored by Pitchfork in the last few yearsbut I’ve always thought that My Bloody Valentine and some of their early-’90s contemporaries (particularly a band called Catherine Wheel) made some terrific music.  Loveless is such a great album, so clearly the best album to come out of the shoegaze-rock sound that My Bloody Valentine pioneered, that I think almost anyone with an appreciation for melody and gorgeous walls of sounds can fall in love with it.

“When You Sleep” is, as AllMusic’s Tom Maginnis put it, “one of the more constructed songs” on Loveless.  For me it demonstrates especially well just how good My Bloody Valentine were at creating songs that sound like the musical manifestation of an emotion, even if the vocals are lower in the mix and you can’t quite make them all out.