A Tour of the Solar Flares

solarflares.jpgIt’s 2507. You’re sailing in a tour ship thousands of miles above the surface of the Sun. From the air-conditioned quiet of its observation deck, you look down through huge, shielded windows into the sea of fire, watching enormous prominences sprout into the blackness like trees of flame.

That, anyway, is the picture I always see when I listen to “To Here Knows When,” the fourth track on My Bloody Valentine‘s Loveless (1991). The keyboards and drums percolate and chatter high, distant, gliding by calmly as the solar feedback roils and combusts in the foreground, vast and wild.

Loveless is the contemporary sublime. It taught the ’90s how to sound. I’m not much given to psychedelic experiences, but this LP, played loud in a darkening room, is one. Or you can put it on in the background in your office on a Wednesday evening, as you work on an article. That works too.

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7 Responses

  1. David says:

    I entirely support any paean to Loveless – really, one of my favorite albums ever. But dude, you see the sun? I see motionless Brits whaling away on their instruments and gazing at their shoes. Or, you know, a valentine dripping with blood.

  2. Mike O'Shea says:

    You gotta take it track by track. Track 4? Yeah, definitely. Flame, huge spaces, light and darkness, heliophily. Try it turned up loud. That feedback is as impersonally menacing and lovely as a fire.

    I think it’s what critic Robert Christgau had in mind when he concluded his review of Loveless with: “In the destructive elements immerse.

    MBV seems to bring out the overwritten rock crit in all of us. This guy wrote his master’s thesis on Loveless, a move I fully endorse:

    http://etd.lib.fsu.edu/theses/available/etd-04102006-103749/unrestricted/fullthesis-1.pdf

  3. Paul Gowder says:

    “It taught the ’90s how to sound.”

    That, I’m afraid, is not a compliment. Music died in the 90’s. It only recently started sputtering back to the surface.

  4. your mom says:

    this is so gay and i hate it and you are retarded because you are a gay person

  5. your mom says:

    this is so gay and i hate it and you are retarded because you are a gay person

  6. Tyrone.S says:

    What does the sun have to do with Valentines day!?Your just confusing me.

  7. adrianna says:

    WOW!!!!!!!! Im not gonna lie yall hae allloooottt of fake pics but its ite bcus yall know the facts.. im really not tryin to be rude but if u gone put up a website then you need to put sum real pics… but yall still have a pretty cool wesite though…