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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 November 2013
I'm going to come clean; I really didn't care for this album at all when I first listened to it. I've been a Manics fan for a couple of decades now and, the first time I heard "Rewind The Film", I couldn't remember feeling so completely underwhelmed and disappointed in a piece of work from James, Nicky and Sean. Thankfully, I persevered and, over the following weeks, listened to it occasionally until some of the tracks started to shine and then, over the past month or so, I've been putting the album on by choice, rather than to give it a chance, as I was before. It is now my opinion that it's an absolute corker of an album and I love pretty much all of it. I think it's fair to say that it's really quite different from any other Manic Street Preachers album, it's mellower, gentler and much less sonically hard-hitting. Of course, this means that when they do a little of their trademark, explosive big chorus type-thing, such as in the album's sublime title track (featuring the superb Richard Hawley on vocals), it is to great effect.

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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on 20 September 2016
Fantastic album, the Manics dealing with aging in a melancholic and rather less shouty manner. grat songs with JDB at his very best but with some great guest turns which shows how secure the band are as they continue to create great music. They can't stay shouty rebels forever because it looks a bit pathetic and sad, especially when you consider their massive success. But as with all their previous stuff they can still make a great observation about life and ageing and the events that enter or exit your life. And even the very poignant title track about what appears to me to be someone ending their days. And just for good measure they shovel in 30 year war, a scathing attack on privilege and the old by network and the rubbish about us all being in it together. Well done Manics, I'm a late joiner but this is a crowning glory on top of plenty of other seminal and iconic albums.
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on 19 July 2013
First of all I'd like you to dismiss what's been said about 'Rewind The Film' in the run up to it being released, the whole folk tinged no electric guitar myth that's been circulating, MSP haven't turned into The Dubliners overnight and the album does include electric guitars and sure, there's no 'Slash'N'Burn' riffs or 'Archives Of Pain' epic fretwork from Mr Bradfield but the likes of '3 Ways To See Despair' has a particularly fine Pink Floyd-esque solo, don't run for the hills at that comment, like Johnny Rotten I hated Pink Floyd when I was a teenager but you can't deny the genius of 'Wish You Were Here' and the like, the truth is that there are 2 sides to MSP, 'The Holy Bible' side and the 'Send Away The Tigers' side and while they failed to find the third side in 'Lifeblood' I think they might have found it in 'Rewind The Film'.
It's stripped back in the sense that there aren't 99 guitars on every track, the songs have space to breath and if anything MSP are experimenting on this album more than before, a couple of reviews have mentioned that MSP are changing but what doesn't evolve dies, look at Oasis.
The actual album includes 12 tracks with guest vocals from Lucy Rose, Cate Le Bon, Richard Hawley (I have to admit to not being a fan but his sombre vocals work as a good juxtaposition to James) and the lovely Nicky Wire who gives us his Lou Reed meets Nikki Sudden line in vocals (it's also worth noting that Nicky plays some particularly good bass throughout the album), Sean chips in with his french horn and cornet on a few songs which really set each songs out as individuals as well as a collection.
Of course, it's difficult to judge an album on a handful of listens, the reviewers who reviewed it on the day of release and gave it 5 stars I would be dubious of because 5 stars is 'The Holy Bible' and 'Everything Must Go', some MSP fans are blind to their faults and give everything 5 stars (including 'Lifeblood', I kid ye not), ideally I would write this review in a couple months time after submerging myself in listens but by then there'd be 40 reviews and what's the point of another one?
The 'Deluxe' version follows the same line as the last few MSP albums, it comes in a paperback size folder which scratches the discs when you slide them in and includes demo versions of all the songs from the album with Nicky taking the guest vocalist spots, it also includes 5 tracks from the O2 concert last year, some of the demo versions are even more stripped back than the album versions and benefit from that fact and I wonder if they might release the O2 concert on DVD or as a live album as the sound quality is awesome on these last few songs and yes I do realize that James Dean Bradfield said that live albums were nothing but contract fillers but a deluxe double CD with a behind the scenes DVD thrown in, I'd stick that on my list to Santa Claus now.
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on 27 October 2013
The album is acoustic and laid back. There's no rock anthems on there, but it's still brilliant. There's some great tunes and James' voice is as strong as it's ever been. I highly recommend it.

There are three duets on the album, which work really well and the guest vocalists suit the sound of the album perfectly.

The stand out tracks for me at the moment are (I Miss the) Tokyo Skyline, and This Sullen Welsh Heart. Personally I think this is a return to form, as I wasn't too keen on Postcards from a Young Man and Send Away the Tigers.

There are some negative reviews on here saying this album isn't traditional Manics rock, but that's not a negative in my opinion. They're simply trying a new direction, which should be commended. If you think about their most acclaimed albums such as the Holy Bible and Everything Must Go, some of the best tracks on there are the slower non-rock ones (Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky, This is Yesterday, etc).

The only negative for me is that I would have liked to have seen a more exciting cover for the album. It looks a bit drab! There were some great individual profile shots of the lads taken for the release, they would have looked great on the cover (in the same style as the Everything Must Go artwork).
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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 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 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 8 November 2013
Probably one of my favourte Manic Street Preachers albums ever, the tracks have a great sound, and as the lyrics sink in you realise just how amazing they really are, gets better every time I listen. The title track, Rewind the Film is a masterpiece of song writing, it evokes so many images and feelings of lost times, set to haunting, beautiful music, but there are plenty of more lively ones too, like Show Me the Wonder to balance. The videos released so far are perfect accompaniments too.
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on 9 January 2014
Never been a huge MSP fan but purchased this and have not stopped playing it - Love every track, intelligent, mature, thought provoking music - Richard Hawley featuring on the track 'Rewind the Film' was a nice surprise (I have all his albums)- MSP I salute you !
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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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