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  #496  
Old 16-05-2021, 16:17
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Now I've had a bit of time to digest Orwellian and get over the initial excitement, for me, as far as post-Tigers lead tracks go, I'd put Orwellian fourth after International Blue, Walk Me to the Bridge and Jackie Collins. Show Me the Wonder fifth and It's Not War sixth.

I was definitely guilty of building it up in my head before hearing it that it was going to be an ultra power anthemic banger like the first three in that list and it very nearly is. It's just not as urgent or powerful or memorable as those for me. Close but not quite there.

Saying that, it hasn't lowered my expectations or diminished my anticipation for the rest of the album in the slightest. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for something to come from nowhere completely unexpected and blow my socks off like Europa Geht Durch Mich did.
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  #497  
Old 16-05-2021, 16:27
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I love it! It reminds me of Tolerate in its etherial understated quality.
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  #498  
Old 16-05-2021, 16:33
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I still feel we've only heard the footprint ripple in the glass as opposed to "hearing/seeing" what the new piano written Manics T-Rex looks/sounds like.
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  #499  
Old 16-05-2021, 17:27
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Having had some time to digest it I'd agree that it's not as strong a single as International Blue but the chorus is a massive earworm and it's probably my favourite use of piano in a manics song for a long time.

I'm by no means an expert but to my untrained ears I've previously found their piano lead songs a bit clunky at times (Golden Platitudes being a prime example, great song but the piano is a relentless plod in it) but Orwellian feels a lot more fluid and accomplished. It's really interesting how they are still maturing bits of their sound and I'm really looking forward to hearing more of this sound on the album.

Probably reading too much into it but I'm hoping the (current) lack of additional songs means it's a more focussed album. I tend to prefer them either lazer focused (JFPL) or extremely unfocused (KYE) ,it's the inbetween periods that I find a bit more dull.
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  #500  
Old 16-05-2021, 17:32
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For all the nerds out there, I was thinking that Orwellian is another song we can add to the Manics canon of singles built on Jimbo's love of the good old major chord to sus4 chord and back again.

Please feel free to add to the list, but from the top of my head:

Motown Junk
Slash n Burn
You Stole the Sun
Walk me to the Bridge
Orwellian

Last edited by Europa Gluten Free; 16-05-2021 at 20:24.
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  #501  
Old 16-05-2021, 19:09
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Also people saying that Orwellian is not as immediate or instant as International Blue I think are missing the point. You could say that International Blue was a bit more calculated or Manics by numbers. Orwellian on the other hand is genuinely something different and definitely a step forward if only for the fact that Jimbo has written this song and a lot others on the piano as a pretty novice piano player. After spending a weekend with Orwellian, it is definitely on a different level than International Blue.
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  #502  
Old 16-05-2021, 20:05
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You could argue that International Blue is Manics by numbers and calculated but that would be missing the point of that song. Yes, it's quintessential latter period lead track material, but also containing the magical essence of Manics brilliance which doesn't always materialise when they try to do convoluted Manics by numbers (see It's Not War) - genuine sonic euphoria married to intriguing lyrical content.

Orwellian is fantastic in its own right, and a wonderful achievement for someone in the relatively early stages of writing in a new way, but it lacks the kick ass melody and unique magic that I enjoy in much of the band's music.

I would argue that if you removed the fact that it was written on a piano, Orwellian is more calculated and formulaic Manics than International Blue.
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  #503  
Old 16-05-2021, 20:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Europa Gluten Free View Post
Orwellian on the other hand is genuinely something different
Sounds to me like it'd fit on RIF or Futurology pretty easily. To me it's current manics by the numbers. Uninspired, overproduced and lacking.
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  #504  
Old 16-05-2021, 20:15
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Well if apparently Orwellian was the first song written for it (Tolerate... was written late for that album as we know) then it really, really bodes very well for the other ten to come.
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  #505  
Old 16-05-2021, 21:42
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Just for fun, I made this playlist of Manics songs featuring piano in some way. It’s not exhaustive, it is edited down believe it or not lol... Give it a try if you like, I think it has a bit of a ‘feel’.

Porco’s Pianoish Playlist

You’re Tender and You’re Tired
Orwellian
Firefight
Little Baby Nothing
What Happened to the Blue Generation
Empty Souls
Between the Clock and the Bed
Golden Platitudes
Found That Soul
Epicentre
4 Lonely Roads
See it Like Sutherland
Prologue to History
I Live to Fall Asleep
The Year of Purification
Death of a Digital Ghost
Rock and Roll Music
The Endless Plain of Fortune
The Everlasting (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix)(Instrumental)
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  #506  
Old 16-05-2021, 22:24
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I just love the little glacial-sounding keys that play around "burn" in the chorus.
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  #507  
Old 16-05-2021, 23:56
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Originally Posted by deadmartyr View Post
I just love the little glacial-sounding keys that play around "burn" in the chorus.
That's probably my favourite part of the whole song.
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  #508  
Old 17-05-2021, 01:04
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This song is such a grower - I loved International Blue immediately and that song still fires me up as a great example of a late era MSP banger, but there's something different about this song that makes it more of an earworm. I actually love the lyrics and think it's very relevant, certainly living in the US it feels very of the times, and I LOVE what a curveball the song is. I think most Manics fans (certainly me) thought a song called "Orwellian" would be a rocking anthem, and here they come with something completely different. And that's why I love them still as my favorite ever band - they can confound you in the best of ways whiile always being "them".

If this album isn't a bunch of rocking tunes, that's okay with me, because EIE had some of the best rockers James has written. But I do think this album will feel more cohesive than RIF, which was basically a better Postcards (that I liked!). Sorry for the long rant but I am really feeling this track after listening to it all weekend. And my 4 month old son smiles big every time I sing it, which is an awesome plus! I've been a megafan for 25 years and passing that on to him is one of the things I'm looking forward to most in life.
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  #509  
Old 17-05-2021, 01:23
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Good song. Was a bit afraid about the MOR centrism and the beyond vintage Orwell themes, but now that I listen to it, ok, I sorta get it. The slightly ominous, glacial understated, oddly happy way it's presented -- and that 70s ABBA vibe -- make it aesthetically coherent enough to mitigate those first-glance shortcomings for me. It IS vintage. Doesn't mean it's untrue.

The melodies, I think, are exceptionally strong in this and present the lyrics very well. The chord changes and how the topline follows them are tremendously accomplished and mature right from start to end. The music shifts underneath the lyrics just perfectly. Reminds me of EIE standouts in that way.

I also like the "walking through the apocalypse where you and I can co-exist" line. A sudden unreal realization fills me, that the manics are still with me in these times too, so far in the future. That they followed me and I them, through all this. And now we're here. At the end of the noon of technology, the global population boom... the end of so many tings. The dreamlike menace of it is very classic manics. One moment you have a nice major key feeling, then it suddenly slides under. These more tender, subtle melodic moments remind me of fav Lifeblood tracks. Seems like a strong no 2 track to me, sequencing wise. Much stronger than International Blue, which I just didn't get then as a single -- and it never really grew on me while listening the album.

The only criticism I have is the guitar solo part. I'm not hearing a lot of production intrigue there. You know the guitar solo to TLORN? That has amazing wobbly synths panned left and right, the real star of the show isn't really the guitar, it's the production of the electronic elements. I feel that part of the instrumental could be more ominous and JDB's guitar tone colder and less warm. And then another repeat of the chorus which doesn't add too much... Wish there were extra lyrics there or something, and end quote maybe...

Only listened to it twice of course and not on headphones, since it's not downloadable in any way as far as I can say, currently.

The Ultra Vivid Lament is a cool album title too. Cautious as always, but also just incredibly grateful to get a new manics album this summer. Reaaaaallly need it right now.

Last edited by Marat Sar; 17-05-2021 at 01:29.
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  #510  
Old 17-05-2021, 02:25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marat Sar View Post
the beyond vintage Orwell themes
What do you mean? Orwell is timeless.
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