Exclaim!'s Best of 2013: Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, Part Two

3. My Bloody Valentine
m b v

In computer programming, recursion is the practice where a block of code contains a call back to itself, creating an effect similar to when two mirrors are placed facing each other. If there is no terminating condition in a recursive algorithm, the end result is a piece of software that spirals out of control, taking the entire computer down with it. In a similar vein, the anticipation mounting for the release of the follow-up to My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless LP, which also threatened to become a self-perpetuating maelstrom, reached its terminus at 11:58 GMT on February 2, when m b v finally arrived courtesy of the band's own website.

Far more than a sequel to its predecessor, m b v is the logical next step for a band that was far ahead of its time back in 1991. Yes, the glide guitars are dominant and a dream-like atmosphere is present throughout, but deeper probing reveals an undeniable wisdom. Frontman Kevin Shields has woven two decades' worth of experience into the fabric of m b v, using breakbeats and uncanny organ pulses to stretch the boundaries of what My Bloody Valentine has represented for many people.

The payoff is vast: m b v is an immense document of unstilted creativity and the ecstatic exhalation the world has been waiting for. (Bryon Hayes)