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4.4 out of 5 stars102
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 October 2013
After the steps sampling, 'Boss' and Lenny homaging and down and out mediocrity of 'Postcards from a Young Man' I was in two minds as to whether or not to order this album. I'll put my hand up and say that Manic Street Preachers have been one of my favourite bands for two decades but after the last studio album I seriously thought about giving any future releases a miss.

Luckily I decided to give this record a go and I am seriously glad I did. With the exception of a couple of, in my view, thematic missteps in the form of 'Anthem for a lost cause' and 'Show me the wonder" (and that doesn't mean they're bad, i'd just question some choices in production and arrangement), this album is really good. The use of guest vocalists on 'This Sullen Welsh Heart' 'Rewind the Film' and "Four Lonely Roads" is interesting and works really well. Album highlights would include 'Builder of Routines', '(I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline' and 'Running Out of Fantasy'. There are definite shades of Pink Floyd on '3 Ways to See Despair'.

Actually apart from the two missteps i mentioned earlier, they are all highlights. Great album, you should buy it now :).

It is their best work in years and makes me excited to see what the next album 'Futurology' will hold for us in early 2014.
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on 31 January 2014
Listened to this album for quite a while so decided to buy the 2 disc edition, very glad I did disc 1 is well reviewed already but I think disc 2 is much better, it is pure often acoustic MSP, I have loved this band for a long time and at the moment I cannot really decide if this is their best album yet as it is very close to perfection.
The meaning of many songs comes across better in the demos

Buy it!!
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on 13 January 2014
The songs stay with you long after the album's finished. The most polished album the Manics have done yet., even better than "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours".
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on 1 October 2013
This is an excellent album that has a great sound and production.
I was not convinced when I heard the single "Show me the wonder" but it works a treat when you listen to the whole album.
The additional female vocals on two of the tracks are a joy and what can you say regarding Richard Hawley. An outstanding artist and a brilliant choice to sing on the title track with James is one of the highlights of the album.
There is a lovely instrumental track "Manorbier" which again is so refreshing to hear from this great band.
I am playing this album non stop and for me right here right now this is possibly my favourite Manic's album and boy have they made some great music over the years.
So do not hesitate to add this to your collection even if you are not a massive fan just sit back and enjoy some very good music.
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on 5 November 2013
I bought this album a few weeks ago and have listened to it dozens of times - I loved it the first time I heard it, and now I love it even more. There is not one duff track on it, which is very rare for me to say - there are nearly always one or two tracks on any album I like that I tend to skip over all the time as I'm not so keen on them, but not here, every single track is a gem.

Nothing else to say, really - I've been a Manics fan right from the beginning way back in '91 when I wouldn't stop playing Motown Junk at top volume, and I think this album is superb, and James' voices seems to get better and better too.
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on 23 January 2014
Whilst it couldn't be further removed from the youthful bombardment of their early work, this feels like an album for the age. More downbeat, elegiac at times. But simply beautiful songs, finely crafted, they'll stick in your head for days.
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on 19 October 2013
Not always a big fan of Manics, however I loved this album. Pretty much all songs, except two ("Tokyo skyline" and the traditional Manics hardcore socialist "30-year war"), are great. Inviting guests to perform on 3 songs worked better than ever, with unbelievable, amazing Richard Hawley featuring in and MAKING one of the best songs I've ever heard, that is enchanting "Rewind the film". All in all, a great, mature piece of art from Manic Street Preachers, with added benefit of demo versions (some quite good) and live gig recordings.
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on 18 October 2013
Arrived quicker than I expected - all perfect and no complaints. Actually think this is the best Manic's album since The Holy Bible. Intelligent lyrics by a band in a league of it's own. Superb.
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on 18 October 2013
A very quiet introspective album very unlike anything before but still packed full of great songs. The title track is haunting and almost tear jerking especially if you watch the video. I saw them on the recent tour to support his album and the seven songs they played worked really well live. I guess the secret to the Manics long career is to surprise and delight in equal measures with each release. This album is no exception to that rule.
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on 12 October 2013
So this Isn't their greatest album but it's a fine addition to their canon of work. Certainly toned down and pared back it's reminiscent of the quieter moments of Everything Must Go. A band that still has a lot to say. It would have been easy to reprise succesful formulae but instead, the band continue to challenge. Not everyone will be a fan but that's what they've been doing since day one and that's what makes them great.
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