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This review is from: I Killed The Zeitgeist (Audio CD)
This album isn't going to find as wide an audience as fellow Manic James Dean Bradfield's recent solo offering, but it ticks all the right boxes for long-time admirers of Nicky Wire. Political commentary, misanthropy, artwork featuring home-made collages, soundbites and cultural references are all duly present, but they're backed by a surprising transformation from the self-deprecating bassist into a singer-songwriter of considerable talent. Well, some might argue over the 'singer' bit, and, yes, Nicky's voice will be the ultimate love/hate case, but in the context of these compositions it works rather well: a pick'n'mix of Lou Reed, Mark E Smith and Bernard Sumner.
As for the songs themselves? From the altcountry-tinged 'Break My Heart Slowly' and 'Goodbye suicide,' to the Jesus And Mary Chain-cum-Mogwai post of rock Everything Fades, to the Fall-aping title track, a lack of concerns over commercial success has allowed Wire to experiment all he likes and how he likes. The songs have the kind of lo-fi, carefree attitude to them unlikely to ever be witnessed again on a Manics release, and one that the band failed to produce on 2001's Know Your Enemy. I Killed The Zeitgeist is at least partially what that album strived to be.
But if this all threatens to make it sound like a meandering dirge, there's still plenty of melodies on here to reveal that Nicky has learnt a thing or two from his bandmate. 'Withdraw Retreat', 'Bobby Untitled' and 'You Will Always Be My Home' all feature catchy hooks and melodies that Bradfield would be proud of, and which wouldn't be out of place on the new Lemonheads album, and it's these that make the album stand out and be destined as a cult classic.
No matter what your opinion of the man is, this is everything a Nicky Wire solo album should be.