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  #31  
Old 20-05-2019, 13:49
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darkanddivine darkanddivine is offline
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It’s a great question.

For me, I have a top 5 which includes the undisputed 2. The other three are Lifeblood, JFPL and Truth. And actually, it’s a really close call for 3rd place because all three are worthy selections.

You can’t mention Truth without considering the context it was made in. The most obvious factor in that context is the fact that it’s the first album without Richey. But perhaps more interestingly, it’s the 3rd stage in a musical journey that had seen them move from writing songs like PCP in 1994 to I’m Not Working in under 4 years. That, and given the fervor around the old fans vs new fans argument, you have to say this was a ballsy move to a bunch of fans likely expecting EMG2 or THB2.

In many ways, JFPL is that EMG2/THB2 album. But the album suffers these days, just in terms of pure visibility. The band clearly have a difficult time reconciling this album, and so it doesn’t get much airtime. That said, it’s a brilliant blast, and example of the heaviness of MSP’s sound when they want to go full throttle. It’s the best album they’ve done in the last decade, and will probably go down as their last great rock album as time passes.

Lifeblood is fascinating, not least because it offers a glimpse at what could have been. MSP could have abandoned all pretences of being a “rock” band, and developed a cold, electronic, detached sound. As we now know, the band now see this as an awkward, false representation of themselves rather than something more positive. But if you take the surrounding material (beginning with Door to the River, and ending with the God Save The Manics EP) as they floated from KYE in 2001 towards SATT in 2007, there is actually about 2 and a half albums-worth of great material that came from the Lifeblood-ish era.

Ugh. So picking one is HARD. All three were bold, experimental and different from the “standard” MSP sound which is what makes them so fascinating.

I’m tempted to say JFPL, because it’s the album so many of us wanted them to make. But then again, Truth is bigger than the sum of its parts, and it’s nice to see it gain recognition through the re-issue. But I can’t help but think that Lifeblood offers something more as time goes on, even though you can make a strong case that the other two albums are objectively better. In the same way that people enjoy cliffhanger endings, the fact that we never got to hear them develop a sweeping ForeverDelayed style sound to perfection means that Lifeblood interests me the most, despite its imperfections.
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Last edited by darkanddivine; 21-05-2019 at 13:40.
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  #32  
Old 07-06-2019, 02:04
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BloodFlowerBill BloodFlowerBill is offline
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  #33  
Old 07-06-2019, 02:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkanddivine View Post
It’s a great question.

For me, I have a top 5 which includes the undisputed 2. The other three are Lifeblood, JFPL and Truth. And actually, it’s a really close call for 3rd place because all three are worthy selections.

You can’t mention Truth without considering the context it was made in. The most obvious factor in that context is the fact that it’s the first album without Richey. But perhaps more interestingly, it’s the 3rd stage in a musical journey that had seen them move from writing songs like PCP in 1994 to I’m Not Working in under 4 years. That, and given the fervor around the old fans vs new fans argument, you have to say this was a ballsy move to a bunch of fans likely expecting EMG2 or THB2.

In many ways, JFPL is that EMG2/THB2 album. But the album suffers these days, just in terms of pure visibility. The band clearly have a difficult time reconciling this album, and so it doesn’t get much airtime. That said, it’s a brilliant blast, and example of the heaviness of MSP’s sound when they want to go full throttle. It’s the best album they’ve done in the last decade, and will probably go down as their last great rock album as time passes.

Lifeblood is fascinating, not least because it offers a glimpse at what could have been. MSP could have abandoned all pretences of being a “rock” band, and developed a cold, electronic, detached sound. As we now know, the band now see this as an awkward, false representation of themselves rather than something more positive. But if you take the surrounding material (beginning with Door to the River, and ending with the God Save The Manics EP) as they floated from KYE in 2001 towards SATT in 2007, there is actually about 2 and a half albums-worth of great material that came from the Lifeblood-ish era.

Ugh. So picking one is HARD. All three were bold, experimental and different from the “standard” MSP sound which is what makes them so fascinating.

I’m tempted to say JFPL, because it’s the album so many of us wanted them to make. But then again, Truth is bigger than the sum of its parts, and it’s nice to see it gain recognition through the re-issue. But I can’t help but think that Lifeblood offers something more as time goes on, even though you can make a strong case that the other two albums are objectively better. In the same way that people enjoy cliffhanger endings, the fact that we never got to hear them develop a sweeping ForeverDelayed style sound to perfection means that Lifeblood interests me the most, despite its imperfections.
Lifeblood was half a good album for me. They didn't fully commit to the concept enough. Although as you say they could have included other songs from that era. I felt like the production lacked the grain of the production on the two Patrick Jones videos. And I am intrigued as to what the Visconti mixes would have sounded like. That being said it still has some wonderful moments, let down by the stapling of something like Empty Souls in as a almost, oh my god we need a radio friendly sngle here, afterthought.
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  #34  
Old 24-06-2019, 13:08
tomd2103 tomd2103 is offline
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Another vote for Journal. I would have Futurology in fourth and then would be hard pressed to choose between a number of albums for fifth place. This is My Truth and Generation Terrorists would be right up there if some of the weaker songs had been discarded.
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  #35  
Old 24-06-2019, 13:24
tomd2103 tomd2103 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkanddivine View Post
Itís a great question.

For me, I have a top 5 which includes the undisputed 2. The other three are Lifeblood, JFPL and Truth. And actually, itís a really close call for 3rd place because all three are worthy selections.

You canít mention Truth without considering the context it was made in. The most obvious factor in that context is the fact that itís the first album without Richey. But perhaps more interestingly, itís the 3rd stage in a musical journey that had seen them move from writing songs like PCP in 1994 to Iím Not Working in under 4 years. That, and given the fervor around the old fans vs new fans argument, you have to say this was a ballsy move to a bunch of fans likely expecting EMG2 or THB2.

In many ways, JFPL is that EMG2/THB2 album. But the album suffers these days, just in terms of pure visibility. The band clearly have a difficult time reconciling this album, and so it doesnít get much airtime. That said, itís a brilliant blast, and example of the heaviness of MSPís sound when they want to go full throttle. Itís the best album theyíve done in the last decade, and will probably go down as their last great rock album as time passes.

Lifeblood is fascinating, not least because it offers a glimpse at what could have been. MSP could have abandoned all pretences of being a ďrockĒ band, and developed a cold, electronic, detached sound. As we now know, the band now see this as an awkward, false representation of themselves rather than something more positive. But if you take the surrounding material (beginning with Door to the River, and ending with the God Save The Manics EP) as they floated from KYE in 2001 towards SATT in 2007, there is actually about 2 and a half albums-worth of great material that came from the Lifeblood-ish era.
Ugh. So picking one is HARD. All three were bold, experimental and different from the ďstandardĒ MSP sound which is what makes them so fascinating.

Iím tempted to say JFPL, because itís the album so many of us wanted them to make. But then again, Truth is bigger than the sum of its parts, and itís nice to see it gain recognition through the re-issue. But I canít help but think that Lifeblood offers something more as time goes on, even though you can make a strong case that the other two albums are objectively better. In the same way that people enjoy cliffhanger endings, the fact that we never got to hear them develop a sweeping ForeverDelayed style sound to perfection means that Lifeblood interests me the most, despite its imperfections.
I agree with those views about Lifeblood and it's why I tend to now look at Lifeblood as more of an era than just the album. Forever Delayed and There by the Grace of God could have comfortably fitted on to Lifeblood as Door to the River could have. Even some of the B sides like The Soulmates, Litany and Antarctic might have been a better fit for that sweeping sound you mention.

It isn't one of my favourite Manics albums, but it does irritate me a little when they trash it as there is some good stuff on there (1985, Song for Departure, To Repel Ghosts, Solitude Sometimes is and Cardiff Afterlife are particular highlights and I've always wanted to hear a studio version of the heavier Empty Souls they did live a few times). When you add in the songs mentioned above, it could have been one of their strongest bodies of work.
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  #36  
Old 24-06-2019, 19:07
IntlDebris IntlDebris is offline
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I should have known better when Nicky's "our next album will be even more electronic" quote turned out to be his usual bollocks, but that combined with the actual sound of SATT was such a double blow that I stopped listening to the band for years. It's my third favourite Manics album, but my favourite 'era' of theirs overall, if we include all the Forever Delayed-era tracks too.
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  #37  
Old 24-06-2019, 20:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntlDebris View Post
I should have known better when Nicky's "our next album will be even more electronic" quote turned out to be his usual bollocks, but that combined with the actual sound of SATT was such a double blow that I stopped listening to the band for years. It's my third favourite Manics album, but my favourite 'era' of theirs overall, if we include all the Forever Delayed-era tracks too.
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  #38  
Old 24-06-2019, 20:32
IntlDebris IntlDebris is offline
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Ah yeah, of course. For an era they don't like much, the band recorded a hell of a lot of material for it.
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  #39  
Old Yesterday, 16:37
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