Now I really am tempted to say nothing, just to let this stand for itself. What more can I say that I haven't said already over eight years of worshipping this album, of knowing every note and yet finding new notes and new things I haven't heard before every time I hear it, of moving beyond utter fascination with this record into the realm of total, complete abject worship? I can't, really, the words escape me.

So I won't, beyond noting this -- this ruined music for me, in ways. Nothing has ever been able to send me as well, and maybe nothing ever will. I hope for it, eternally, I dream for it, and some things do come close. But nothing else sounds like "To Here Knows When," like "Loomer," like "Sometimes," like "Blown a Wish," like all the tracks on here. Oh, I know where they come from, what influences the band brings to bear, that they use rock instruments to create almost everything. Kevin Shields is not a god, and I'd much rather have him as a human, the talkative, friendly, relaxed guy I interviewed back in 1996 (and you can read http://kuci.org/text/interviews/mbv.html whenever you like -- or just check the main fan site at http://www.expectdelay.com/mbv/ as well). But then why does listening to Loveless feel like the closest I'll ever get to heaven? We each have our personal approaches to the infinite, I'm guessing -- at least, I couldn't understand if we didn't. This electric, could-not-exist-before-these-past-ten-years approach is mine. And "Soon"? It always felt like a song that's endlessly playing somewhere out there, and we just got a fragment that crashed out of the sky, just a taste, no more.

A friend once said listening to Loveless was like looking at an antique photograph frame, seeing something through a fog, sensing rather than directly determining, something forever beyond direct touch or comprehension. I like that.

Thanks for reading.

Ned Raggett, November 1999

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