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63
4.1 out of 5 stars
Lifeblood
Format: Audio CDChange
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2005
In hearing "The Love of Richard Nixon", it had been expectant that we were drawn to hear uninspiring tunes from the Manics similar to the messed and flawed "Know Your Enemy". In fact it's sheer brilliance from the Blackwood's finest trio. It kinds of throws away the tension, confusion and experimentation from their previous album starting with a nice mellowing clean slate. The majority of its slow tracks, it hooks to your feel-good senses desperately often unrequited with their earlier work, in every way possible it is whispering to you breathlessly to say this album is a modern-art classic.
Kicking with a good opening track, "1985" shows light anthem rock with soothing melodic rhythms similar to "A Design for Life", clearly reminding you how they matured as a band to a softer direction in rock. "Empty Souls", "Song for Departure", and "Live to Fall Asleep" really highlights that the Manics can produce nice pop-rock with the digging of 1987-era U2 in "To Repel Ghosts" to New-Orderish feel in "Fragments" suiting for all tastes.
The album adds new blends of nice upbeat, harmonious electro-piano melange topped with classic vocals of James Dean Bradfield putting them on a new inspiring level although not clearly as profoundly ingenious with their dark album "The Holy Bible" but this is an album for mature Manic fans. Go buy and listen as it proves the Manics fulfil to all expectations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2008
I guess the manics could release a country album and I'd still love it!
Once again different to anything they've done before (but I'm getting used to that...after all each of their albums is unique), but still it's the typical manic street preachers style.
The album has great lyrics, and James delivers them with so much devotion (as he always does) that it gives you goosebumps (in a positive way). Sometimes the drums sound a bit electronical and artificial, and since I think Sean Moore is the most versatile, most inventive and most genious (and fastest) of all drummers I know, this is a bit sad, but on the other hand the fact he made it sound that way shows his greatness even more, because combined with the music, the electronical/artificial drums sound really good (but I love the "real" drum roll on Cardiff Afterlife).
If your musical interest is limited to rock, and you want to hear the manics rock (and rock only), then I'm not sure if you'll have much fun with this album. But if you're as versatile as the manics, you may find another manic masterpiece here!
My faves from the album are 1985, Glasnost and To Repell Ghosts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2004
A 'new' direction for the Manic Street Preachers, but I heard a lot of what 'This Is My Truth' could've been in this, their latest efforts. The filler is still there (but to a much less extent), and the important main failing about 'TIMT' has been rectified - musically it is a joy.
Ok, so 'Nixon' is appalling and unlike a lot of reviewers I'm not so keen on '1985' either; just because it namecheck's Morrissey and is as political as they dare get on this album it doesn't turn my head. Indeed, the fact that will distinguish this from all Manic albums is the number of tracks where Nicky Wire seems to be telling us how he is feeling, rather than what he is feeling or reading or complaining about. Such a lyrical honesty probably hasn't been seen by a Manic since 'Ocean Spray' by Bradfield, or Richey's works that straddled 'THB' and 'EMG'.
'Empty Souls' stomped live, but tiptoes in the studio, a lilting track with echoey piano and a faint riff underlying the song with more than a nudge towards 'Motorcycle Emptiness', 'A Song For Departure' will surely be listened to by partners everywhere who have just loved and lost and on 'Emily' the listener is left wondering if Wire respects Pankhurst (the suffragette martyr) or if he is writing her a love letter. Still, this album has arguably everything right that was wrong with the last two studio efforts, and if 'Nixon' can nearly get to No.1 against one of the strongest chart toppers of the year, then surely anything is possible in this remarkable but unsurprising reinvention.
The Manics have stopped trying to recreate 'Motown Junk' (and they are getting a bit old for such buzzsaw heroics), and have instead made 'This Is My Truth - New And Improved & Feat. 110% More Emotion'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 2012
For some reason I never quite tuned into tho Manics in the 1990's. I loved all the singles, but never bought an album; well, what a mistake that was! My husband bought me "Lifeblood" and I have spent the last year or so discovering everything the Manics have ever produced. Because this was my first album, I have massive affection for it and completely disagree with any reviewer who has given it less than 4 stars.
Apart from Emily, which is a little on the dreary side both lyrically and musically,I personally don't think there is a weak track.
1985 has always struck me as deeply ironic (all the fuss about '84, what chance did it stand) and I think it was the year that the Manics started playing/songwriting in their bedrooms in Wales. Richard Nixon is pure genius; love the tone of JDB's voice, and I'm desperate to ask Nicky Wire if he is expressing symapathy for Nixon and Richard 111 in his lyrics. (The beauty of his words are that they pose so many questions).
Other highlights include Song for Departure with its gorgoeus big stadium sound, Galsnot, Solitude and Empty Souls.
The combination of gorgeous tunes and thought provoking lyrical content is wonderful.
If you are new to the Manics, this album will ease you in gently. Some of their other material, particuarly the early albums, are a little more raw, although totally brilliant.
My son (age 13) listened to Lifeblood on a long car journey and found it to be a mini politics lesson (Nixon, Glasnot, Emmeline Pankhust). You can't ask for more than that. Keep writing guys - there is a new generation out there who need you!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2004
If your looking for the Manic Street Preachers who made 'Generation terrorists', 'The Holy Bible' and 'Know your enemy' you're going to be out of luck, maybe next time (if there is a next time!). But if your favourite Manics' stuff is on 'Everything must go' and 'This is my truth...' then step this way. The attraction (or at least part of the attraction) to me is that in a world that seems dominated by mindless pop or whoever is this years' big new thing, the manics have always managed to stick out like John kerry at a republican convention. Where there is nothing up there with 'Design for life' or 'Motorcycle emptiness', there is '1985' or 'A song for departure', which come pretty damn close. There are sounds, beats and moods that you have never heard the manics pull off quiet like they have here. 'Glasnost' is almost 'Keane' like in someways and on 'Always/never' for a moment you might think the chilli's are in the studio with them. But they always manage to have that way of stamping their mark on each and every song, no matter what track you choose. There's not a power chord to be heard (well, maybe here and there), but that doesn't mean it's downbeat, in fact far from it as 'Empty Souls' proves. It's well worth your hard earned cash. Album of the year, maybe not, but it could be in most people's top ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2014
This is an album that the manics themselves view as 'not so good' and as a result many fans blindly took them at their word and agreed. However this is far from a bad album. It is simply one of those albums that any band that has been around for 10/20 years is bound to experience. It is different in style and the use/lack of use of certain instruments.

This does not make it a bad album - far from it. This album is one I find that can be listened to from beginning to end, with several tunes standing out such as the notorious Love Of Richard Nixon and the catchy I Live To Fall Asleep.

The only problem with this album are the people who approached it with a closed mind and expectations based on previous albums such as Generation Terrorists and The Holy Bible. You won't find any of that type of material here, but you will find a great album that you should judge AFTER you have listened to it. At the time of writing this, the average rating on Amazon is 4-stars, which is good to see as this album is at least worthy of 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2013
This is rather different to the very early Manics stuff which was raw and punky, so if you are really keen on that, this may not be exactly what you are after. However, if you like some of the more melodic early hits, then you will probably love this. The tracks on here have great instrumental depth and are quite highly processed, e.g. more of the 'Tsunami' kind of feel. I have to say, I really think it is a fantastic album containing perhaps the most beautiful and epic music they ever wrote (and the tracks are not as cheesy as e.g. 'Autumnsong'). I was considering buying National Treasures, but on noticing that masterpieces such as 'A Song For The Departed' and 'I Live To Fall Asleep' are not on that, I am now reconsidering, and am really glad I decided to get Lifeblood first.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2005
'Lifeblood' is definitely the least 'manic' or punk-ish album by the Manic Street Preachers... but its still worth a listen.
The music is far more mellow than Know Your Enemy or any of the Richey Edwards era LPs with lots of keyboard/piano, highlighted in the intro and outro of 'Cardiff Afterlife,' but the lyrics are still very political, especially in songs such as 'The love of Richard Nixon' and 'Empty souls,' which is the stand out track of the album.
Although I would rank it as one of their poorer albums, it is enjoyably refreshing to hear after listening to the new wave of british bands as the Manics show once again that they are craftsmen of music, with JDB providing some of his greatest vocals to date.
If you're a Manics fan, it is certainly worth a listen, although it may not strike the same chord as their earlier releases.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2011
Lifeblood is definitely an underrated album. This album is one of the albums that you play from the beginning to the end without having a need to skip songs. Manic Street Preachers have managed to deliver 12 songs with incredible beautiful melodies and lyrics. It is pity that their usual set lists are scarce of songs from Lifeblood. My favourite songs are Fragments, Glasnost, Emily, To Repel Ghosts, and I Live to Fall Asleep. Highly recommended sonic experience.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2005
the manic street preachers have been a consistent band all throughout their career. know your enemy, was not the best album they have ever made. however, people have to realise, that the early albums, were rebellious youth. the manics have matured into a band, who are beginning to enjoy their music again and not live under the dark cloud that has followed them since the departure of richey. THEY DON'T NEED TO BE CONTROVERSIAL TO BE NOTICED!!! this album is everything die hard manics fans wanted...a band that once again believes in themselves and can carry on for many years to come as one of the greatest bands on the planet.
stay beautiful x
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