Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man
This is, according to Nicky Wire, the Manics’ “last chance to attempt to communicate on a mass level” – a peculiar statement, considering it follows the double punch of Send Away the Tigers’ streamlined pop and Journal For Plague Lovers’ abrasive yet widely-celebrated Richey-era throwback.
Postcards has some fine moments, but falls short of its immediate predecessors: not a fault of the period they’ve dusted off this time round (their late nineties, grandiose orchestral phase), but of the bloated execution. Most tracks come swamped in strings, while the arrival of a gospel choir on Some Kind of Nothingness overeggs an already stuffed pudding.
Why they felt such a move necessary is a mystery; their late renaissance has thus far birthed a top 3 hit and some of the best reviews of their career. It seems that in trying to second-guess what the massed classes want, they’ve ever-so-slightly taken their eye off the ball. [Chris Buckle]
Playing Glasgow O2 Academy on 29 Sep, Aberdeen Music Hall on 30 Sep and Edinburgh Corn Exchange on 2 Oct.http://www.manicstreetpreachers.com