Send Away The Tigers is the Manic Street Preachers' eighth studio album and, for a number of years before this album, the music press and the world, as a whole, really lost interest in anything the Manic Street Preachers had to offer. Even 2005's Lifeblood, which was a very good album indeed, was largely met with indifference. A couple of solo albums last year, James Dean Bradfield's critically acclaimed The Great Western and Nicky Wire's almost universally panned I Killed The Zeitgeist appeared to stir interest in the Manics again and this, coupled with the fact that Send Away The Tigers is simply too good to ignore has led to this album being probably the most well-received album since Everything Must Go.
There is a good reason for this, naturally. This is, very probably, the best Manic Street Preachers album since 1996's Everything Must Go. Speaking in terms of consistency and letting the quality of the music speak for itself, it even tops the highly successful This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours from 1998. It is, in part, a return to the roots of the band, but is also a very contemporary, urgent and relevent album - striking the balance between being political and angry over injustice rather than preachy and recapturing their fire and spirit without descending into unlistenable, unpleasant heavy punk rock which, in my opinion, I don't think the Manics every truly pulled off. They are always at their best when their propensity for melody is combined with powerful music and intelligent lyrics which provoke thought and discussion.
Send Away The Tigers, a reference to Tony Hancock's description of drinking to chase away his demons, is without doubt the album that Manics fans have been longing for for over a decade. Had this album been released as a follow-up to Everything Must Go, it would probably have been lauded as one of the best albums of all time, but it's a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time despite the positive reviews and enthusiasm this album has generated. There are a handful of classic songs contained within this CD - Indian Summer, The Second Great Depression and Autumnsong are just three of the most notable songs, but this is a very strong release from start to finish. The only negative I can really offer (apart from the rather disappointingly ordinary album cover) is a wholly superfluous version of John Lennon's Working Class Hero as a 'hidden' track. To be honest, I think the album would have been better off without it. Other than that, it's just a brilliant album. Play it loud.