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Isn't Anything

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Editors’ Notes

Because My Bloody Valentine's next full-length, 1991's Loveless, would be rightfully touted as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, the band's 1988 debut long-player, Isn't Anything, has lived in the shadows for years. Yet there was a time when Isn't Anything stood as MBV's definitive statement, encapsulating the sound of what became shoegaze and standing as a radical departure from the group's earliest recordings. The whooshing dream state of "All I Need," the cacophonous blur of "(When You Wake) You're Still in a Dream," and the pop buzz of "Several Girls Galore" prove that this album is no slouch. While much credit is deservedly given to band leader Kevin Shields, Bilinda Butcher's vocal turns expanded the group's dimensions exponentially. Just as Sonic Youth did in America, My Bloody Valentine did in the U.K.: pushing forth alternate tunings and an overwhelming sound that was simultaneously heavy and weightless. This may not be a masterpiece like Loveless, but it's nearly perfect in its own exploratory ambitions.

Customer Reviews

Isn't Anything is no Loveless stepchild

Way back before an internet beaming 2-4-7, before the coined terms multiplying underground music, there was Husker Du. And much like Sonic Youth I wasn't prepared for songwriting to take a blistering sheet metal turn to rhythmic tantrums. I fell quick and deep for it. When Husker Du went away I was long crashing with The Jesus and Mary Chain. Then there was Dinosaur Jr.'s SST heyday setting a table of knives that became the perfect storm called Isn't Anything. And I was playing guitar by now, asking teachers how to play these static melodies. I'm glad they all refused. I'm glad they did not understand. =m.

Isn't Anything started it all...

This is a groundbreaking and inspiring record from the band that defined shoegaze back in the '80s and '90s. My Bloody Valentine spawned an entire scene of look-alikes and pretenders, but MBV dishes out the real deal here. This is amazing music, the likes of which no one had ever heard when it was released. Twenty years later and it still sounds just as far ahead of its time as it was back then: that's wild. My favorite cuts are Lose My Breath, Sueisfine, and I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It). Honestly though, this entire album is worth the purchase. Everyone deserves to treat themselves to hearing My Bloody Valentine.


First listen was while I was on a walk.Thought my speakers were blown. Can't hear the singer? What's all this fuzz? Is the volume adjusting on it's own? Hmm....catchy riffs though. By the 6th listen I was hooked and fell in love with this album. The beauty came out through the haze and everything made sense .


Formed: 1984 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Like the Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, and the Jesus and Mary Chain before them, My Bloody Valentine redefined what noise meant within the context of pop songwriting. Led by guitarist Kevin Shields, the group released several EPs in the mid-'80s before recording the era-defining Isn't Anything in 1988, a record that merged lilting, ethereal melodies of the Cocteau Twins with crushingly loud, shimmering distortion. Though My Bloody Valentine rejected rock & roll conventions, they didn't subscribe...
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