Manic Street Preachers

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

Like the locusts, Wogan and ‘Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps’, the Manic Street Preachers just keep coming back. After recent misadventures with Fidel Castro and rubber Richard Nixon masks, things have come full circle. Turns out all it took to make the world fall in love with them again was for them to fall back in love with themselves – and crucially, what made them great. Which means truckfuls of eyeliner, powerchords, nuclear-strength bridge hooks and an, erm, incongruous female singer.

‘Your Love Alone…’ isn’t exactly ‘Archives Of Pain’ (who would actually want something so gruelling again?), but it sizzles with the euphoric abandon of a band who aren’t taking themselves too seriously – for the first time since ‘Generation Terrorists’ they actually sound like they’re enjoying themselves. This is the original culture sluts growing old disgracefully. Apparently an imagined conversation between Nick and Richey about the big stuff; sex, religion and democracy, it scarcely matters what ‘Your Love Alone…’ is about: in fine tradition it mines profundity from what is just as likely to be poetic nonsense. But more than that, for the first time in years the sex within the song takes centre stage, while Nina from The Cardigans’ bored, ice-princess vocal chimes a pastel note of sorrow amongst the euphoria, and it’s beautiful. Hell, Wire even sings a line and it sounds moving rather than disgusting. Stay beautiful? Verily.