Album Review: Isn't Anything [Reissue] by My Bloody Valentine
Fairly Good, Based on 3 Critics
Pitchfork - 95 Based on rating 9.5/10
They exist. I'm holding the CDs right now, and I can tell you, they exist. The remasters of My Bloody Valentine's Creation catalog had been announced and delayed so many times, it became a running joke to ask which would come first, the Loveless remasters or the long-awaited follow-up. The inferred punchline was "neither." Advance copies circulated four years ago, but the leaks came and went and no one was sure if they were real.
I was five years old when My Bloody Valentine released their debut album Isn’t Anything. I was therefore wholly unaware of the album, the huge critical acclaim it received and the massive influence it had on so many bands around that time (hello shoegazing). But listening to the album almost 25 years and a very light remaster later, it's instantly clear what all the fuss was about and whilst it has been hugely influential on subsequent generations of bands, Isn’t Anything is still so unique and strange that there has never been anything quite like it since.
So what to make of this noise now, with British pop restored/reduced to chirpiness, choppiness or chippiness, everyone running around like idiots? I suppose it should sound dated. It doesn't: My Bloody Valentine's breathy roar, reissued into a new century, stands outside of time, is stronger than time. Their flaws are perhaps more obvious with hindsight, not least because those flaws - "excessive solipsism, fussiness, overindulgence" - led directly to their disintegration, but the helpless immediacy of this sound could never be anything but contemporary, and the reach of these records makes bands yet to form sound hopelessly out-of-date.