A sequel that’s faster, flashier and more bombastic than the original
Manic Street Preachers : Lifeblood
Welsh stalwarts given a polish by classic Bowie producer Tony Visconti
‘Lifeblood’ is the fourth album the Manics have made without Richey Edwards, and the first where they have finally realised that his is a void that will never be filled. Where ‘Know Your Enemy’ strived vainly for relevance, ‘Lifeblood’ is seemingly content to exist as a highbrow rock record. Out go song titles that were half-baked political manifestos in themselves ( ‘Freedom Of Speech Won’t Feed My Children’ anyone?), in come elegiac pop anthems ( ‘1985’) and the welcome presence of Bowie producer Tony Visconti to add a glacial sheen to the whole affair. Indeed, this is arguably the best Manics album since ‘Everything Must Go’.
That said, the nadir in between has been quite a plunge, so don’t expect lives to be changed. For the most part, however, ‘Lifeblood’ is the sound of a band entering middle-age with dignity and without embarrassment. It’s just that, for the band we
all fell in love with, that idea was once the most disgusting imaginable.
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