Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Album review: Manic Street Preachers- Postcards from a young man

Sorry for the lack of TV blogs, squiglets, blame the TV schedulers. In better news, I have now got a new TV for the bedroom, so I plan to spend my winter indoors, watching TV. It might be American TV, but it will be TV nonetheless. I will also say that Big Brother USA 12 was the best thing on telly this year; Enzo, Lane, Rachel. What more could a planet hope to offer? Must-see TV.
Anyway, on with the Welsh wonderment! Didn't the Manics have an album out about 6 months ago? There was ONE SONG I liked on it, with a convoluted name, and it definitely wasn't that long ago.
Why can't all Manics song start with a silly quote? We did a mish mash of all the best ones the other day: 'you can buy her this one here... this one here...' 'You damn well think you're God or something!' They're all ingrained on your brain, you just have to work for them.
Oh dear, I have a feeling this is going to be a bad review. This first song reminds me of the one they did with Cerys. Was it Cerys? Or was it Kylie? Either way; fail. Oh no, was it her from the Cardigans *makes that guitar noise*? Perhaps they did all of these and they were all equally shit. It's no Revol, is it?
OK, Postcards from a Young Man is actually quite good. But I don't like it when I can tell what he's singing, though. I recently did Motorcycle Emptiness on my home karaoke and was genuinely stunned to find out what the lyrics were. 'From feudal serf to spender'? WTF? I thought he was singing 'I'm running on loneliness' in the chorus for the past SEVENTEEN YEARS. That song can still move me to tears, it is steeped in history.
I do love James Dean Bradfield. Of course, I probably said this in my blog about the last album, about five minutes ago. Can't stand Nicky Wire, though, obviously. He is to hoovers what Alex James is to cheese.
My boyfriend 'commented' on my Brandon Flowers review by saying 'you just go through each song' but when I used to read the NME and read reviews it used to drive me up the wall when they'd write 15 paragraphs on what colour their wallpaper is whilst they're loading up the CD player and another three pages on the artists' history, when I just wanted to know if it sounds like Morrissey or not, and which were the decent tracks. I like the going-through-the-songs technique. It's hardly like there's a person on a planet who's going to buy a CD on the basis of my review, because there's not one person on the planet who buys CDs (except pretty Bright Eyes ones, obv).
Having said that about track-by-track, tracks four, five and six just passed me by. It's just ploddy guitar rock. Plod plod plod. Another new hoover.
The guitar is actually really rubbish and a bit wanky. Golden Platitudes in particular is worse than Golden Lights by The Smiths, and Almost Golden by Courtney Love, and those are two shit songs with Golden in the title.
I'm not going to download this, am I? Thanks Spotify! But that's OK because SOMEONE has downloaded so many Asian horror movies onto my computer that there's only 2GBs left, so frankly, James and Nicky, you're doing me a favour.
Track 8 is called 'I think I found it.' I'm not going to go there with that joke. But talking of guitarists, the guitar on this album has made the new guitarist in Hole seem like a wise choice.
I'm finding myself pining for such also-ran Manics songs as Door to the River, and Ocean Spray. And I normally skip those.
'A billion balconies facing the sun' is the most decent one since the second track. And I still don't like it. GUITAR SOLO. Are The Darkness back in town?
Oh God, I think it's getting worse. It sounds soooo 90s and not in a good way, believe me, I'm listening to 90s radio whenever I'm in the kitchen these days.
I wanted to like The Future Has Been Here 4Ever because he sounds like he's singing a bit out of tune, but then there's like a trombone and awful backing vocals. WTF this isn't James Dean! Is Nicky Wire singing this? Fucking HELL. I think I'll stop there.
Luckily for me, the Manics were never the kind of love affair like I had with Jarvis, Moz, Molko or Conor. If they had been, I'd be weeping right now.
PS: me and my nestmate had an idea the other day. Why has no one ever done a mash up of R.E.S.P.E.C.T and that Manics song that goes 'give them the respect I D.E.S.E.R.V.E'? Wouldn't that be the best mash up of all time? Think on.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Hey Lyns...interesting review...Ok-ok I'm doing some major surfing of the internet to stay up and combat jetlag (arrived back from NYC this morning) but thought I should comment.

I'm really torn about this album. The first track I don't like but can tolerate. I definitely agree that the title song is very good indeed and the best on offer. All in all a good first 4 tracks, and some nice lyrics in places 'there's beauty doing nothing at all'.

However, it does sludge and lose focus somewhere in the middle, so much so that I lose interest at the end, even though I should go back and investigate the final third.

The lush strings also get a bit grating, and there are the usual fifth-form poetry problems with some of Wire's lyrics 'still and lonely like an old school photograph'...'to feel forgiveness you gotta forgive' etc.

i prefer send away the tigers i think, but neither that or this are great records...i sometimes wonder why i bear with the manics, it's like a family member you're tied to or a football team you feel you have to support...some kind of faith, even...journal for plague lovers was awesome....perhaps they're spreading themselves too thinly with 3 albums in 3 years?

I'm seeing them in December and always look forward to watching them live...must be the 5th or 6th time...

Lee