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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another fine album from The Manics
When I first listened to "Postcards" I was a touch disappointed. I was not expecting a repeat of the brilliant "Journal" but even so the initial impression of "Send Away The Tigers" pt 2 left me lukewarm. It all seemed a bit overblown. However repeated listens have allowed details to emerge and the elements to coalesce into a wonderful noise.

The first 3 tracks...
Published on 21 Sept. 2010 by Mr K

versus
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shoeboxgazing
Controversy and anger have followed this shoebox since it was first announced. Was it Sony's idea? Probably not, the Oscar Wilde quote on the back could only be Nicky Wire's idea. "Nothing succeeds like excess" is one way to explain this supadupamegadeluxe box set, but it's debatable as to whether it is a success, or indeed excessive. A CD, DVD, cassette, scrapbook and...
Published on 20 Sept. 2010 by possessed.by.a.lemon


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another fine album from The Manics, 21 Sept. 2010
When I first listened to "Postcards" I was a touch disappointed. I was not expecting a repeat of the brilliant "Journal" but even so the initial impression of "Send Away The Tigers" pt 2 left me lukewarm. It all seemed a bit overblown. However repeated listens have allowed details to emerge and the elements to coalesce into a wonderful noise.

The first 3 tracks are polished to a burnished rock gleam, and despite being a bit ridiculous (and the Manics have never been afraid of the ridiculous, thank goodness), are glorious. The album opener "It's Not War..." starts with a lovely, slightly scuffy riff before the strings sweep in like it's 1996. Anthemic and then some.
The title track follows in a similar vein. Whilst railing against the loss of principles the song soars until the defiant coda, ending with "I will not give up and I will not give in." Corny as hell, but wow, they are good at this kind of thing.
"Some Kind of Nothingness" is a fabulously over the top epic ballad featuring Ian McCulloch, choirs and a kitchen sink. Terribly sad yet utterly euphoric.
Things calm down a bit with "The Descent". In fact it sounds a bit tame, a bit sedate. Not bad, just...OK.
I thought Hazleton Avenue was a bit of a stinker on first listen, but I'm liking it more now. The riff is lovely, but the strings are perhaps too much here.
"Auto-Intoxication" is a throwback to an earlier Manics at times with it's choppy guitar and obvious politics. I like it a lot.
"Golden Platitudes" is a graceful and reflective ballad about political betrayal. In the context of this album quite understated.
As is "I Think I've Found It" which has at times an almost 80's indie feel, and a lovely lilting rhythm.
"A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun" is a fine, driving, rock song with a fists-in-the-air chorus and furious JDB guitar, and the caustic "All We Make Is Entertainment" continues the mood. Older and happier with their lives they may be, but The Manics still see plenty in the world that irks them.
"The Future Has Been Here 4 Ever" reminds me of The Stones! Sean Moore's trumpet is lovely, and even Wire's singing is OK.
The album ends with the rousing, aggressive, Google baiting. "Don't Be Evil".

Overall a great album, and one that gets better as you get to know it. There is no-one else around quite like the Manics. They may be easy to mock at times, with their hearts on sleeves politics and sometimes over-the-top style, but this is a triumphant record. I hope they sell shedloads.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Postcards - Track by Track, 21 Sept. 2010
(It's not war) Just the end of love

Opens with a lovely, dirty guitar arpeggio then quickly descends into a very catchy pop song. I say 'pop' rather than rock as the Manics are clearly putting out a very radio friendly song as their first single from the album. Despite this (or because of it), it remains (for me) the weakest song on the album. I doubt it will grow as I've heard it more than any other song at this point. This song is the Manics on autopilot which means it's good, just not great.

6/10

Postcards from a young man

This is more like it and gives a better indicator of what the Manics are setting out to do with this album. The song is melodic and accessible while maintaining a creative flourish that really lifts the song into greatness. James' guitar playing is restrained throughout and a lovely melodic riff underpins the start of the song. The verse is driven by piano and the guitar takes a back seat, though when the chorus arrives the guitar once again kicks in and carries the song completely. Strings are used throughout to great effect, the whole song builds to a lovely crescendo.

9/10

Some kind of nothingness

Continuing the Manics tradition of cracking duets, Ian McCullough joins in for a lofty, string driven ballad. Although a ballad, schmaltz is thankfully very far away and the chorus is joined by a Gospel choir. Once again we have a melodic, radio friendly song that should certainly be a candidate for a single.

8/10

The Descent (Pages 1&2)

The Descent kicks in with a mildly distorted descending guitar chord sequence which seques into the 1st verse as the guitar arpeggios in the background carry the melody. Strings once again appear in the chorus with a gentle, slow drumbeat in the background. It's a hard song to describe, but it's a good song although not quite up with the best on the album.

7/10

Hazelton Avenue

Now we're cooking! Hazelton Avenue sets it stall right from the off, it's a typically brilliant Manics song with reasonably quiet, melodic verses and the damnedest, most catchiest chorus you've heard in ages. Yep, you'll be walking around singing 'So take me back..... to Hazelton Avenue' just like I am. The chorus is underpinned with another Manics favourite, a guitar riff that uses Octaves and this is part of what helps make the sound of the Manics so unmistakeable. Hazelton Avenue is a great song, wonderfully crafted and manages to get into your head in a way that only great songs can.

9/10

Auto Intoxication

Reminds me of their sound during the 'Know your enemy' album. Opens with a catchy guitar riff that bounces along nicely in the background during the verse. A quiet interlude with just keys, vocals and drums merges into the chorus with a punchy, punky guitar riff. One of my favourite songs on the album although I would say this is one of the least radio friendly songs.

9/10

Golden Platitudes

Stunning. There are two sides to the Manics; The melodic 'This is my truth' Manics and also the balls to the wall 'Holy Bible' Manics. Let me make it clear, I love both sides equally. It takes both sides to make the Manics who they are. This song could have been lifted straight of 'This is my truth' and has a beautiful, slow beginning that gives way to a verse that gets it's hooks right into you and doesn't let go. 'Where did the feeling go?' asks James. Well, the feeling is right here, this song is just gorgeous and if any song off 'Postcards' is going to take our national radio by storm, it's Golden Platitudes.

10/10

I think I've found it

This song really floats my boat. Mandolin (mandolin??!!) opens the song and runs through each verse. Lovely, distorted guitar also peppers the verse strategically and once again we have a knockout Manics song that bristles with personality. Makes your foot tap and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, THIS is what great music is all about. I think you've found it boys.

10/10

A billion balconies facing the sun

Opens with a classic 12 bar blues with further layers of guitar being added (with more distortion each time). The verse builds and then the chorus just crashes through and kicks hard, full of energy and melody. Two guitar solos break the song up, with the second one being absolutely stunning. James is such a good guitar player, always has been and it's really nice to see him let go a little. One of the more energetic songs on the album

9/10

All we make is entertainment

The title of the song says it all and this song really does entertain. Classic Manics with slightly a slower, guitar driven verse that breaks into a crunchy chorus you can quite happily bop around to. A song that doesn't take itself too seriously and is all the more fun because of it.

8/10

The future has been here 4 ever

Oh no, Nicky sings! Yeah well, we can't have everything can we? Wait though, it's pretty much the best singing he's done and you know what? The song is great. Sean gets his trumpet out (oo-er missus!) for the chorus and James is in full on bluesy guitar mode. A slightly different song to everything else on the album and stands out all the more because of this. At one point Nicky sings 'When I start to break free, it calls me back again. Like the Godfather III, I never can escape'. My favourite line on the album.

8/10

Don't be evil

The album ends with another catchy, crunchy guitar driven song. It's a perfect note to end the album and has a similar sound that the Manics had on 'Know your enemy'. Once it's finished, you'll just go back to track 1 and start again.

Conclusion:

A stunning album. The Manics are absolute masters of this kind of melodic pop/rock. Last year we got the edgier 'Journal...' album which I adored. 'Postcards' is equally brilliant but in a different way. As I said earlier, there are 2 sides to the Manics and to be honest I don't know which I prefer. I know one thing, if they only went on to do one kind of album from here onwards I would really miss the other. Here's hoping the masses appreciate what the Manics have done here.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - really growns on you, 24 Sept. 2010
I love this album. I'm so enthusiastic about it that I'm writing my first review.
Took a few listens to really get into it but its deffinitely something special. You can tell they have put a lot of effort into it and it pays off.
My Favourite song is 'Postcards from a Young man' but there are numerous others that I just keep having to go back an listen to. This album is addictive!
The lyrics are beautiful also.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it., 8 Nov. 2010
I have never bought a Manic's album before but this is great. I love every single track.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Needs more than one listen, 23 Sept. 2010
First off, this isn't the post-punk 'we want to be the Clash mkII' type of Manics album, it's from the 'Tigers' style.
It does take a few listens to start to get into the vibe of the record, you need to hear beyond the choirs and tune into the layered melodies and fantastic hook-lines.
Ironically it was the third or forth play of the album and on track number 8 'I Think I Found It', that I finally found it and really started to enjoy the music.

Buy/Download it, no regrets....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's responsible..., 15 Sept. 2010
You people complaining about the Manics "selling out" and the "scandalous" price of this boxed set; did you not notice the fact that there's a perfectly good copy of the album retailing for under a tenner? This isn't a case of "cough up eighty-five quid or you get nothing", those kind of complaints might be justified if this were the *only* edition available... It isn't. I am a young person who lives alone. I earn a modest wage. I live frugally a lot of the time and save a bit of money to spend on the things I really love. I'm happy to part with a little extra cash for something special from my favourite band, just as I would happily buy a new hardback novel from one of my favourite authors rather than a second-hand paperback. We might not all have the same amount of money, but we can all choose how to spend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars easy listening, 3 Jan. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Have not been a manic street preachers fan in the past, didnt dislike them but just never caught my attention, when i heard the single (its not war) just the end of love , i had to buy the CD,i was not disappointed, dont know how this Cd holds up to previously released material but found it really good and easy to listen to, was amazed at the different styles coming through on different tracks and Golden platitudes has become one of my favourites, will definately keep my ears open for future releases by this band !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning!, 26 Dec. 2010
By 
Miss R. L. Rettinger (Newcastle, Staffs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Postcards From A Young Man (MP3 Download)
First of all, i really can't understand all of the negative reviews for this album. I decided to listen to it a few times before writing a review and i can honestly say it's a stunning piece of work.
I will be honest, this is the first Manics album i have ever downloaded(i am building up my collection with their other stuff!) and their music isn't something i would normally listen to - i am into electronic music mainly.
I have heard the recent singles on the radio and fell in love with them instantly - always liked earlier Manics singles, The Everlasting, There By The Grace of God, Motorcycle Emptiness so i decided to go for it and put it on my ipod.
I haven't stopped listening to it, it's full of gorgeous melodies, intelligent lyrics and James' soaring vocals.
The production is fantastic with some stunning backing vocals from the gospel choir - Golden Platitudes is one of the most sublime songs i've ever heard.
This is real music, and anyone who loves and appreciates music should own this. Well done lads, i am spending my christmas money on your back catalogue!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shoeboxgazing, 20 Sept. 2010
By 
possessed.by.a.lemon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Controversy and anger have followed this shoebox since it was first announced. Was it Sony's idea? Probably not, the Oscar Wilde quote on the back could only be Nicky Wire's idea. "Nothing succeeds like excess" is one way to explain this supadupamegadeluxe box set, but it's debatable as to whether it is a success, or indeed excessive. A CD, DVD, cassette, scrapbook and postcards don't make for the most outrageous accumulation of goodies ever chucked in a box and sold to hardcore fans at such a price.

In spite of this, I only went and bought it. This either makes me insanely rich or just outright insane, but I'm not about to ask for a refund. The scrapbook is the key component. Yes, the majority of its pages are available in smaller form in the 'common or garden' deluxe edition, but you cannot argue with the added production value of the 42 high quality A4 pages ring bound here. Varnish is applied to images throughout to lend a homemade 'stuck on' appearance. It's undoubtedly the set's main selling point.

The slipcase-packaged DVD shows half an hour of the making of the album at Faster Studios. This doesn't exactly attempt to fill up the DVD's 4.7 GB capacity but what's there is enjoyable. Included are teasing glimpses of songs that didn't make the album like A Perfect Place To Grow and Breaking Up Again, and a wondrous section on the recording of Some Kind Of Nothingness that begins with Nicky Wire singing to himself while taking his dog for a walk in the snow and concluding with him signing along to Ian McCulloch laying down his vocal.

Having the demos on cassette is a charming idea for those of a certain age. Some will bemoan the lack of vinyl in the set, which is fair enough, but there's something authentic and proper about having the demos on a cassette for this album. The exclusive Nicky Wire demo of (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love is far removed from the album version but it's not life-changing. If you like the Wire's solo work, you'll like this. If you don't, then you won't resent not getting to hear it without spending a small fortune.

This is rounded off with a postcard for each album track. All very nice and welcome in the absence of them appearing elsewhere. Then there's a lot of dead space left in the 13x23x31cm box. That's a fair old unit when you think about it. Do you have room for it even if you have the money? Will it get forgotten about in the back of your wardrobe, still and lonely like an old school photograph? It's unlikely to fit on your CD shelf, that's for sure. Still, I suppose you could remove the 'excess' cardboard and foam and stick loads of other CDs in there...

How many stars I give this is irrelevant. I could give it one or five or anything in-between, depending on whom I'm writing this review for. I view it neutrally, I'm happy with it and wouldn't want to part with it but it prices some fans out of the market and is about four times as big as it needs to be. So three neutral stars it is, but if you've made it this far into the review, then as soon as it becomes available for a price that is acceptable to you, you absolutely should get it for the scrapbook alone.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Album from A Band That Have Always Been Good at Making Albums, 13 Jan. 2015
By 
The Manics provide another solid album for a start of this current decade with Postcards from a Young Man. With its trademarked though-provoking lyrics, and its guitar-heavy brand of pop rock, these Welsh rockers provide an entertaining slice of what they have offering throughout the previous two decades.

Whilst die-hard fans are going to lap up such lyrical creations as The Descent, Don't Be Evil, and its title track, newcomers to the group will find their down-to-earth sound somewhat refreshing. With the unique arrangements on several of these tracks (for example, the horn segment on The Future Has Been 4 Ever) proves that the Manic Street Preachers are not your average British rock band.

Postcards from a Young Man is a very good album from a band that have always been good at making albums, and that still have plenty to offer for the 2010s as much as they have done back in the1990s.
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