Robert Smith isn’t one to pass off praise willy-nilly. He may bow down to The Beatles, but everyone does that. Even Paul McCartney bows down to the efforts of The Beatles, which might suggest why Smith’s compliments over Loveless should be read with great consideration and credence. In fact, Smith went even further with his admiration: In an effort to express his great admiration for the work in question, he said the efforts were much better than the pop portraits his band were best known for.
“[My Bloody Valentine] was the first band I heard who quite clearly pissed all over us,” Smith espoused, “And their album Loveless is certainly one of my all-time three favourite records. It’s the sound of someone [Kevin Shields] who is so driven that they’re demented. And the fact that they spent so much time and money on it is so excellent.” Ultimately, the singer seemed impressed by the ambition, gumption, production design and sonic invention of the album in tone.
In Shields, he found a kindred spirit, one driven by aspiration and acidity, ensuring that every note was the right one, whether it was drenched in reverb or it wasn’t. He was sporting a sense of cohesion and candour, ensuring that the album matched the weight of his vision, regardless of the protracted recording time, or the work that needed to be put in place. Indeed, the singer felt that the work – complex as it certainly was to listen to, and labyrinthian as it must have been to record – matched the ambition of his personal ambition.
The Cure were known for their attempts to push the parameters of pop, whether it was by virtue of the work as a whole, or whether it was because the work in its own way represented something grander, more visceral and more cinematic, but it was the album’s fragmented approach to recording that saddled itself as one of the more impressive albums in Smith’s mind.
What the other two albums are is an avenue this article doesn’t have the time to consider, but there is a great deal to remember that the work is in part of a cycle of albums that offer an insight into the mindset of the creator, exorcising an element of himself in the hope that he might one day create a more reflective work. Loveless is an impressionistic work, glistening from the sidelines to create a more complete portrait of the world as a portal into more cerebral territories.
Indeed, the work as a whole is a more complex, more shimmering statute of the world at large, whether it was something of a more smouldering nature, or something more singular still. Tidbits: Loveless is a stunning album. It spans across a narrative, shimmering in its production design, standing on its own two feet, bolstered by a yearning to create a new vision of Ireland from the ground up. And so it starts, so it continues, and so it must remain to be. Loveless.