Twenty years ago today, my all-time favorite album was released to the world, obliterating the sonic mold that gave birth to it. It spawned hundreds of copycats, but none that could handle the sonic onslaught, the shimmering vocals, and epic scale.
“Only Shallow” by My Bloody Valentine
Personally, I love that it feels otherworldly and incredibly personal. It transports me to my youth and young love and laying in the grass, dreaming through the clouds.
Image by John Niedermeyer via Flickr
In which I pick a song to go on a never-ending mixtape.
We know the rules for the mixtape are pretty solid. You start with the best track. Seriously rocking number. Then you dial it back for the second track, then shift hard into track number three. You really only get three tracks to hook the listener anyway. But one rarely focuses enough on the end. How this album is going to spin the listener off into the rest of her life from that moment. How do you send a person off into the ether?
This is how:
“Soon” is My Bloody Valentine‘s last track on the seminal loveless. The opener, “Only Shallow” is the quintessential bombastic opener. But “Soon” is magical. It delivers on two needs the listener has:
- a sense of closure
- a need to keep going
Mixtapes are stories about you and about life. When we get to some kind of end, we need to express finality. But we are also dying for more. “Soon” feels like an ending, like things are wrapping up here and we’ll take a break for awhile. It also says “come back and keep listening: you like it here.”
That’s a killer final track.