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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 September 2000
This is quite simply an outstanding album! And possibly the only album I own which doesn't have a single bad track! Even the Beatles "Sergeant Pepper..." and other classics have one or two less succesful songs - not so "Everything must go". "Design for Life" and "No surface all feeling" are classics. Though, to be fair, every track is a classic in it's own way. The lyrics may be dark - but they are to the point and oh-so-powerful. eg. "I look to the future, it makes me cry." The album as a whole, however, really is not depressing. It's an exhibition of pure rock genius! Simply superb.
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on 25 August 2001
The first word that comes into your mind when listening to this is "Dignity". How a band could lose such an integral member (let's face it, Richey was slightly more important than just rhythm "guitarist"/lyricist) and not fall down on their arses under the weight of rumour, gossip and despair is truly remarkable. This album would be remarkable if it were made at any point in time but it just takes on so many layers of poignancy if you look at their history.
There is a gorgeous mixture of introspection and life-affirming tunes on this album. The most crucial line comes on the best song, Enola/Alone: "All I wanna do is live, no matter how miserable it is". Amidst the beautiful minor chord crunch that accompanies it, it's easy to get swept away in the emotion that you feel Nicky must have felt during the abyss of '95. No Surface All Feeling is in a similar vein with very calming vocals and it's a great sign-off, thought-provoking, sad, hopeful - even though it was written pre-disappearance. Also, the two understated and lovely acoustic numbers, Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky and Removables, are sparse and delicate gems. Two fantastic Richey lyrics accompanied first by a harp driven and morose melody and then a more cynical Nirvana Unplugged-style acoustic strum.
I would be hard pushed to point out any weak moments. Australia is the only song that lacks the mellow, bittersweet alter-ego of all Manics' songs with a lot of light but a disappointing amount of shade. Everything Must Go treads a thin line between epic and emotionless but just comes out on the right side.
This is the sound of a heart beating, despite tragedy, despite disaster and amazed and grateful to be alive despite all the odds.
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on 21 September 2013
With so many brilliant singles on this album, including the title track, 'Kevin Carter', 'A Design For Life' and 'Australia', this is a must-have for any 1990's record collector. In addition, there are some great album tracks ('Enola/Alone', 'The Girl Who Wanted To Be God', 'Further Away' and the lovely 'Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky). Despite the disappearance of Richey Edwards, the Manics executed a fine set of songs which I'm sure the fans were grateful for. Highly recommended.
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on 30 December 2013
I had heard the "hits" from this album. But i soon discovered after buying that all the other songs in between are a joy to listen to aswell (Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky being my particular favorite) The Manic Street Preachers are one of my favorite Alternative bands. James Dean Bradfield is simply underrated in this country as Singer/songwriter. Great listening. CD arrived as stated and with no problems what so ever. Cheers seller.
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on 22 March 2001
After Richey James Edwards tragic disappearance in 1995 the Manics could have split up. Fortunately they didn't and instead recorded this stunning set of songs as the follow-up to 94's The Holy Bible. The Holy Bible was fantastic - dark, disturbing and furious. This time they decided they couldn't copy the terror of the Holy Bible and instead the songs are similarly reflective and uplifting at the same time. The production is gorgeous - the raging guitars are mixed with great drumming, awashed with fabulous strings and even harps. Every track could have been a single. Elvis Impersonator is a great start followed by the anthemic A Design For Life. Enola/Alone, Australia, Everything Must Go and Kevin Carter are fabulous rock songs. There are also two acoustic gems - John Lennon would have been proud of the beautiful, dream-like Small Black Flowers... while Removables is reminiscent of Nirvana's Unplugged album. Overall, EMG is a faultless album that is both raw and beautiful at the same time. Although my favourite Manics album still has to be their phemonenal debut - Generation Terrorists.
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on 23 May 2015
Yes I still enjoy the album as much as I did back in 1996 when it first came out - I like Small Black Flowers, Enola Alone & No Surface All Feeling the best. Have enjoyed seeing the MAnics a few times - though unfortunately only as a three piece - & looking forward to seeing them again hopefully in Cardiff in a couple of weeks.
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on 26 March 2016
This is the album that brought me to the Manics, some truly classic tracks on here - Design for life , Everything must go , Kevin Carter , it's just an all round great album ! Cannot believe it's 20 years old ... it's more than stood the test of time
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on 18 October 2013
An almost flawless album released in difficult times with the band wondering what else might go wrong. Six of the songs feature lyrics left by Richey, but it is the genius of the band to reinvent themselves, following Richey's disappearance and the commercial failure of the fantastic previous album The Holy Bible, which shines through.
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on 6 September 2013
Yep this is a good solid album and a great antidote to the bottomless pit the Manics likely found themselves in before and after Richey's disappearance.

Its been said countless times before by every reviewer, but to come back from that place, the Holy Bible this-is-how-it-is mindset, must've been incredibly difficult, especially without your best mate. Anyway, what do I know. The songs...

Well, there are plenty of good 'uns here. "Design for life" was overplayed, and to be honest I usually skip that one when listening to the album all the way through. It's a great tune though and -despite the lager-boy football terrace leanings- it was, and is, a very lyrically intelligent and musically exciting tune.

"Elvis impersonator" is a good opener, atmospheric samples and nice chord progressions, slightly desperate and tragi-comic imagery from the lyrics. "Enola/Alone" has oasis-style open chords and to be honest I wasn't convinced when I first heard it and wasn't sure how to take the sentimentality, but hey, it wasn't my mate that disappeared.

"Small black flowers.." Is desperately sad, despite a slightly cliche subject area. It is a pretty tune and always conjures up sad imagery when I hear it. The title track and Australia are OK - again they've been overplayed, but they are good pop-rock tunes.

"Interiors" is great, musically it is quite interesting with that staggered drum beat and nice guitar sound running through it. I'd never heard of Willem De Kooning but it was an enjoyable tune. "Further Away" and "No surface.." are good closing tracks.

A slow-burner but hats off to the Manics for such an achievement in the face of such adversity
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on 25 September 2002
The manics have made a sheer breakthrough with this album-thrusting them into the mainstream. As for the tracks some are abstract enigmas, with diffrent and very lryicaly potent meanings. A few of the tracks relate to the recent departure of fellow band member richey james. 'Elvis impersonator' and 'Small black flowers' make a unique use of the harp! 'Design for life' has become a theme for a generation and i certainly want it played at my funeral! 'everything must go' is a superb album and a must buy for all!
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