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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Requires more than one listen to be properly appreciated, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Journal for Plague Lovers (Audio CD)
This album deserves so much more than just a 'Holy Bible II' label. It does need more than one listen, but by doing so, the listener is rewarded dividends. Not only is the music sounding as fresh as ever, (despite the Manics' long career so far), it is the lyrics which are of particular importance for me, primarily because of their intelligence and great, probably long thought consideration, prime examples being 'Me and Stephen Hawking' and 'This Joke Sport Severed'.
I work in Mental Health and it is so refreshing to find an album written by a troubled, but incredible lyricist, of whom himself was a Mental Health patient -a group often over looked at, artistically in an often prejudiced industry.
In Richey Edwards' words, there is something powerful in the stark reminders that he delivers, which although often dark, are uterly compelling and absolutely required when both explaining and referencing his material. This, coupled with the majestic and highly polished music that the rest of the Manics' clan have written lovingly and with great disciplined care for the lyrics, makes for an album that although bridges links with 'The Holy Bible' in terms of themes, can actually stand out as a classic album on its own, free from the worry of ever having to perform well commercially, unlike what 'The Holy Bible' had, despite the band having very little interest in profit-driven efforts both back then and now.
Many of the subjects dealt with (and there are many), although written in the early Nineties, are actually eerily relevant to today, such as genetic engineering for example, seen in the line -'Today it's a cow, tommorow it's you'.
I would urge anyone working in or simply having an interest in Mental Health to purchase this album, if not only to have a glimpse of the type of wonderful creativity that can be born out of even a person's darkest and painful days. While I am not claiming that Richey was always depressed when writing lyrics, the mood of the lyrics of the album has an over riding theme of melancholy and reflection, which in my opinion has been unmatched in artistic expression and referencing by much music that has been released in recent years. How ironic then, that the very person to create it has not actually been alive in the time the album has been released to see how superior it is to many modern 'singers' and 'bands' currently in the celebrity limelight so avoided by this down to earth and hugely humble band.
I have great admiration for the remaining 3 band members, who have taken great time and care to make sure that Richey's words have been given the accompanying musical quality that they deserve. I can imagine the making of this album to have been highly theraputic for the Manics and probably, very emotional in parts, especially the assembling of 'William's Last Words'. It is a fitting tribute to a man so missed by his band mates and fans and while not wishing to put words in his mouth, i'm sure Richey would be so proud of them for what they have produced as an end product through combined effort.
This is probably the most under rated album I have ever reviewed and I hope it will go on to be appreciated by generations to come, in the same way that a lot of Richey's work and the Manics' work has so far and will teach present and future music fans to look deeper into the words they are either singing along or listening to, because the lyrics of this album are a shining example of the power of creativity to project ideas against an often brutal and unforgiving political spectrum within which we are "governed". I agree and wish that more talented writers and performers could create songs with more intelligent and political meaning than the songs about 'flowers' and 'going the shops' that seem to saturate the charts these days. Where is the anger? Where is the accompanying action? I'll leave that for the next generation to decide after listening to this very special album.
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