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Manic Street Preachers - Send Away the Tigers (2007) Retail CD
I remember being fourteen in 1992, singing joyfully along on summer days to bouncy glam-punk anthems about AIDS, exploitation, methadone and rock n' roll, completely under the spell of this group of wonderfully random Welshmen. Listening to this album takes me back to those times, while at the same time making me wish I actually was fourteen right now, just so I could discover the Manics all over again.
The standard line is that this is a return to form after a run of poor albums, but for me, most of the band's work since their commercial peak in 1996 has had its charm, with the possible exceptionmore… of 2001's Know Your Enemy. The band didn't suddenly lose their ability to write good songs between 1996 and 2007. James Dean Bradfield didn't suddenly cease to be one of the best guitarists and singers in British rock. The difference here is that the Manics seem to be having fun again. There's something instinctive and unforced about the songs on Send Away the Tigers, and this is a quality that the band hasn't had since the days of Generation Terrorists, the Holy Bible and, to a lesser extent, Everything Must Go.
Only the Manics could offer a critique of American foreign policy in the guise of Imperial Bodybags, a punky, funky rockabilly workout that seems to take joy and gain momentum from its very ridiculousness. And only the Manics could make it into something that leaves you breathless, reaching for the repeat button again and again. Rendition, with its massive riff, crunching power chords and military drums, achieves a similar feat. Send Away the Tigers, the title track, boasts the best riff I've heard for a long time, and the chorus is a perfect showcase of the strange mix of euphoria, melancholia and anger that it seems only the Manics can pull off. "Send away the tigers," James Dean Bradfield sings with a smile in his voice, as if he's bringing tidings of great joy, "because we're lonely and we're desperate." The song, which references themes as disparate as the Iraq war and the alcoholism of the comedian Tony Hancock, also demonstrates Nicky Wire's enduring talent as a lyricist.
Elsewhere on the album, the Manics dust off the guilty pleasures in their record collections and reference them with admirable gusto and candour. Winterlovers, which brings to mind Queen playing Guns N' Roses, will have you laughing with joy before making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Autumnsong directly lifts the riff from Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine, says `so what?' and then moulds it into a massive, tender anthem about first love. Then there's Your Love Alone is Not Enough, the catchiest pop song since Kylie's Can't Get You Out of My Head.
Echoes of A Design for Life, one of the band's most popular tracks to date, can be found in Indian Summer, and all of the polished emotional punch of the album Everything Must Go is distilled on this album in one song, the beautiful, slow-moving The Last Great Depression.
There's something for all Manics fans on this album, without any sense of dilution, and without any sense that the band is harking back to past glories. This is a big, fun rock album that will entertain you, provide you with a soundtrack for glorious summer days, and occasionally make you think. Who could ask for more?
|1||Send Away The Tigers|
|3||Your Love Alone Is Not Enough|
|5||Second Great Depression|
|8||I'm Just A Patsy|
- Manic Street Preachers - Send Away the Tigers (2007) Retail CD
- 1772 x 1379 px
- 1,462 KB
- 4406 (1 today)
- 06/05/07 by vistauk
- Quality Rating:
Rated 4 of 5 (3 votes). Click CDs to vote!