Is there anything new that can possibly be said about Loveless? Any stone as yet unturned? So much has been written about this album, and so much of it reads the same: "It's about tension, noise vs. melody, ugliness vs. beauty... It's a return to the womb... It foregrounds the background and favors texture over development... Kevin Shields is Brian Wilson... Smart went crazy..." It's all true, of course. There's no arguing with any of that, just as there's little reason to talk about this album which so many people love. When it comes to Loveless, we understand each other so well that we nod and grunt like we're standing in front of Hank Hill's house. For me, it's been that way for some time: Seeing the letters "M", "B" and "V" next to each other in a review of another band's album is enough to get said record on my "music to check out" list. I suspect I'm not alone.
Now that Kevin Shields is in better health and is slowly returning to the scene, he's explained that Loveless was something of an albatross for him, that he never could find a proper way to follow it. He should be comforted by the fact that no one else has been able to follow it, either. I've long dreamt of an album that was "Like Loveless, but more," but I haven't found it. And so many hundreds of albums have tried. Perhaps this is the sound of a single idea perfected. We should move on and continue to explore the vast spectrum of sound and feeling music provides, but we'll always return to Loveless for what it alone can deliver.