Rewind The Film Deluxe Edition
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Rewind the Film
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Rewind The Film is released almost three years to the day since Postcards From A Young Man and sees the band with a more reflective, stripped-back sound whilst maintaining the classic Manic’s melody and unique lyricism. Following in the tradition of previous collaborations (Nina Persson from The Cardigans on "Your Love Alone"/Ian McCulloch "Some King of Nothingness" amongst others) the opening track "This Sullen Welsh Heart" features Lucy Rose, "4 Lonely Roads" has lead vocals from Cate Le Bon and the title track features Richard Hawley.
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This Sullen Welsh Heart is very melodic and captured my attention from the start. I've heard a lot of people claiming it as their favourite from the album. It's hard for me to choose a favourite, but that song would be one of them. A perfect start to the album as it sets the tone and makes the listener realise that this is a very different outing for MSP.
I won't review each song individually, but if you are looking for a hint of the old manics, then check out the last song on the album, "30 Year War". It has a lot more drive behind it and may suit your tastes.
Overall, I find myself putting on this album to hear the first song and end up letting it play right through until the end. It is one of those albums that takes you on a journey. The deluxe version is worth the purchase to hear variations of the tracks and without any collaborations.
The album starts with a very soft, defeated song, "This Sullen Welsh Heart" (featuring Lucy Rose) and then bursts into life with the brilliant "Show Me The Wonder", resplendent with punchy brass lines, one of the few songs on this album that has the patented Manics sound. There are many other highlights on this beautifully crafted piece of work. The title track, as I've already mentioned, is fantastic, the gorgeous "Anthem For A Lost Cause" uses strings, brass and those echo-laden backing vocals the Manic do so well to great effect and "As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin)" is a slow-burner that starts gently and builds into a powerful, soulful beauty. The bleak but majestic "3 Ways To See Despair" is possibly my favourite track on the album (the demo on the bonus disc with the children's chorus is chilling, almost wish they'd gone with that!), "Manorbier" is an almost Western-like instrumental and "30-Year War" has to get a mention for the angry, anti-establishment lyrics alone, which talk about killing the working class "in the name of liberty", "the endless parade of Old Etonian scum" lining the front benches, and the old boy network winning the war again. Powerful stuff that shows that Wire hasn't lost any of his lyrical cutting edge.
All-in-all, this is rather a special record, but it took me quite a long time to appreciate and enjoy all of the tracks completely, so I can understand why some fans have been a little underwhelmed by "Rewind The Film". However, perseverance is the key and, once you really get to know all of the tracks, it will be a surprise that you didn't realise how brilliant the album was in the first place. I tried to listen to all of the demo versions on the bonus disc before I knew the songs properly and found it to be a really unrewarding process, but after I began to really enjoy the main album I revisited the demos and found them to be a wonderful companion to the finished recordings. The band really need to be congratulated for releasing something so different and for having the courage to record something they probably knew would challenge a lot of their fan base. Having said that, surely the majority of their fans (they tend to be an intelligent lot) must realise that the band can't keep on pumping out albums that are sonic duplicates of their most successful pieces of work and, as such, this album is probably a taster to suggest that being a Manic Street Preachers fan is going to be very interesting in the coming years.
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