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There is a gorgeous mixture of introspection and life-affirming tunes on this album. The most crucial line comes on the best song, Enola/Alone: "All I wanna do is live, no matter how miserable it is". Amidst the beautiful minor chord crunch that accompanies it, it's easy to get swept away in the emotion that you feel Nicky must have felt during the abyss of '95. No Surface All Feeling is in a similar vein with very calming vocals and it's a great sign-off, thought-provoking, sad, hopeful - even though it was written pre-disappearance. Also, the two understated and lovely acoustic numbers, Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky and Removables, are sparse and delicate gems. Two fantastic Richey lyrics accompanied first by a harp driven and morose melody and then a more cynical Nirvana Unplugged-style acoustic strum.
I would be hard pushed to point out any weak moments. Australia is the only song that lacks the mellow, bittersweet alter-ego of all Manics' songs with a lot of light but a disappointing amount of shade. Everything Must Go treads a thin line between epic and emotionless but just comes out on the right side.
This is the sound of a heart beating, despite tragedy, despite disaster and amazed and grateful to be alive despite all the odds.