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View Poll Results: How many stars would you give it?
0/5 2 3.85%
1/5 2 3.85%
2/5 2 3.85%
3/5 8 15.38%
4/5 25 48.08%
5/5 13 25.00%
Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2021, 22:38
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TUVL - FD rating

Poll time!
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2021, 03:33
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0/5 0 0%

1/5 1 9.09%

2/5 0 0%

3/5 1 9.09%

4/5 5 45.45%

5/5 4 36.36%

Voters: 11

Not too bad so far
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2021, 05:22
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I'll come back when I give it a proper listen and then I'll vote. ♡
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  #4  
Old 05-09-2021, 09:21
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I'm still waiting to see if it grows on me after the initial excitement set my expectations too high and then left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. I'm on my fourth listen.
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2021, 09:34
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I'll give it a week or so before I vote. I'm in-between a 4 or 5 at the moment though that 's based on a Manics curve than a general rating system.
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  #6  
Old 05-09-2021, 10:12
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I gave it a 4/5. In retrospect it should have been 5/5.
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  #7  
Old 05-09-2021, 11:28
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I loved it immediately but now even my minor quibbles are falling away and I even actively like the one song I was a bit iffy on at first. I voted 5 stars (possibly surprising no-one?! )
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2021, 11:37
Matt_PhoenixFactor Matt_PhoenixFactor is online now
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Same here. I was hating on Donít Let the Night Divide us but then woke up with it in my head this morning. The whole album is fantastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Porco View Post
I loved it immediately but now even my minor quibbles are falling away and I even actively like the one song I was a bit iffy on at first. I voted 5 stars (possibly surprising no-one?! )
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2021, 12:05
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Dancing Kirby Dancing Kirby is offline
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Thanks for including an option for 0/5 so I can feel less guilty about going with 1/5. It pains me to be negative.

By voting 1/5 I’m saying there’s still room for the next one to be even worse so that’s something to be excited for. It’s just that the songs on TUVL aren’t finished. The lyrics aren’t finished. That’s it. I don’t care about these streamlined verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus songs that keep rolling off the conveyer belt one after another with no thought put into giving them an identity of their own.

What are you supposed to do after they finish playing Complicated Illusions live other than shrug and say, ‘Was that it? Why have they stopped? Is it a false ending? Do they expect us to clap now? I don’t feel like clapping’. It will last in the set as long as Distant Colours did because it is Distant Colours but somehow worse. Before that, Distant Colours lasted as long in the set as Anthem for a Lost Cause did because it was Anthem for a Lost Cause but somehow worse. They don’t even like these songs themselves but they still keep releasing them.

TUVL is like asking JDB for a sandwich and getting a slice of bread. No filling, just a slice of bread masquerading as a sandwich. Dave Eringa has thrown a packet of crisps into the meal deal. It’s a packet of Tesco Everyday Value ready salted crisps with a best before date of 1998. Nicky has offered a half empty bottle of piss for the drink. And they’ve thrown all this into the children’s lunch box that Sean has been playing the drums on.

BUT it’s not a 0/5 from me because Diapause and Blank Diary Entry wouldn’t be out of place on the second half of a 4/5 album. I still like Into the Waves of Love after two listens, oddly. It’s perhaps the only song where going back into the chorus after the solo actually feels natural rather than an act of resignation/laziness. It can be done but not 11 times in a row. Even the two I’ve just praised suffer from that.

I could also find room for The Secret He Had Missed on a much better album than this. You could even put it in the place of Further Away on Everything Must Go and not do too much damage.

So as usual I’ve got my 3.5/5 four track EP that during a charitable mood when I haven’t listened to any other music for a few days might even be a 4/5. Super grateful as always. Unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel the vinyl and cassette preorders because I need to play it on something with a skip button. It is what it is.

These are my opinions. I respect those of others that differ.
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  #10  
Old 05-09-2021, 13:13
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Dancing Kirby - I have read at least twenty "professional" reviews of this album and yours is by far the most entertaining (and accurate) that I've come across! Nice work. I don't understand the almost-unanimous 4/5 reviews at all.
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  #11  
Old 05-09-2021, 13:34
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Dancing Kirby - what an awful thing to say...bottle of piss? Surely flat coke warmed a bit in the sun will suffice?

I love how you're still want the album but with a skip function
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  #12  
Old 05-09-2021, 14:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_PhoenixFactor View Post
Same here. I was hating on Donít Let the Night Divide us but then woke up with it in my head this morning. The whole album is fantastic.
I could see people not feeling DLTNDU for being overly-earnest and a bit sing-song. I really like it.

But the track I found most difficult to like, and probably still my least favourite currently, is Into the Waves of Love. But Iíve come around to it, thanks in no small part to the song featuring a literal Lament (delivered in a Pink Floyd-style). For the most part the song still feels like a handful of other Manics songs that Iím less keen on but are perfectly ok, they just donít really move me for some reason - very much The Year of Purification, but also songs that are perhaps less obviously similar like Doors Closing Slowly or The View on Stow Hill. Not bad songs, and I get why others like them, they just donít grab me. But I already like Into the Waves of Love better than those I just mentioned I think.

I have a load of things to say about this album but Iím still kind of digesting it - but not in a dodgy bag of Tesco crisps kind of way, (as colourful as DKís review was, which I totally respect and enjoyed but (obviously) largely disagree with lol)!

I think the lyrics on this album are actually great, though some of them are at the awkward end of awkward in terms of JDB fitting them around his melodies. I found/find those less jarring on each listen though. Thematically and poetically I am finding them wonderfully moving, thoughtful and evocative.

Production and music-wise I adore it. Itís not exactly Lifeblood 2.0 but I do think if the likes of GT, GATS, THB etc live on the other side of town from Lifeblood, then Futurology and Rewind the Film live somewhere on the same estate and The Ultra Vivid Lament is in the same street. In a spacious but run-down house overlooking the sea.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2021, 15:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porco View Post

Production and music-wise I adore it. Itís not exactly Lifeblood 2.0 but I do think if the likes of GT, GATS, THB etc live on the other side of town from Lifeblood, then Futurology and Rewind the Film live somewhere on the same estate and The Ultra Vivid Lament is in the same street. In a spacious but run-down house overlooking the sea.

So your saying TUVL is the Weston-Super-Mare of Manics records?
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2021, 15:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Routine Builder View Post
So your saying TUVL is the Weston-Super-Mare of Manics records?
Lol

I have never visited Weston-Super-Mare so I cannot say, but Ömaybe? Iím not saying itís a bad thing if it is.
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  #15  
Old 05-09-2021, 17:07
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I’ve digested the album for a few days now and I think I’m ready to provide my thoughts on it. I’ve decided to rate each song based on my fairly generous scale. I never usually rate any Manics song lower than 5/10, except for maybe the songs that piss me off the most (e.g. Glasnost).

Still Snowing In Sapporo – 9.5/10
I’ve loved this song ever since I managed to hear bits of it on Japanese radio earlier this week. It’s very dynamic with the chorus being one of the best on the album. Beautiful glacial synths in the chorus and those phased backing vocals are to die for. I’m looking forward to hearing this live but no idea how it’ll work with the semi-acapella bits. I originally scored this 10/10 but I’ve taken half a point off because the super long intro before the vocals kick in is unneccesary!

Orwellian – 8/10
After playing this song to death when it came out, I went back to it in the context of the album and gave it a second chance. I totally understand why this was chosen as lead single as it does have a lovely chorus but I think it’s still quite ploddy and isn’t up to par with the other material. I think it could have benefitted from a slightly faster tempo. The vocals bug me a bit, James is very nasal sounding but that could be because of the mixing and processing on his vocals. As with many of the songs on the album, the drums are either mixed right down, compressed to fuck or have completely disappeared due to the tonnes of reverb. I will say that the Jo Whiley session version is good though, so there is that!

The Secret He Had Missed – 8.5/10
Another song that I pretty much played to death. Lovely bass playing from Mr Wire on this one, and for once I prefer the female vocal to James’ singing. I feel the chorus is the one thing that really lets down the song as the verses sound lovely. The live session version was really good but I didn’t like Cat Southall’s theatrical oversinging! Surprisingly still one of the weaker songs on the album for me.

The Quest For Ancient Colour – 10/10
When I managed to get hold of the album, this was the first track that came up that was completely new to me. The piano and vocal intro immediately drew me in and got me hooked. Beautiful melody, lovely backing vocals and I love the guitar solo to bits. I think this song is a rare example of the mixing being done properly for once on the album.

Don’t Let The Night Divide Us – 6/10
Bit of a dirge this one. The music doesn’t suit the lyric for me and I don’t like the words much anyway. The only redeeming feature of the song is the brilliant guitar solo and that’s the only reason why this song didn’t get 5/10. If you want to hear an anti-establishment song, go and listen to 30 Year War.

Diapause – 10/10
Wow – honestly didn’t expect much from this song from the bit that we heard on the trailer. I thought it was going to be another Vivian but I couldn’t be more wrong. Easily the darkest song on the album, I think this song will appeal to fans who are looking for something a bit more experimental. The bridge and the chorus are sung absolutely beautifully and the melody couldn’t have been any better if James tried. This song just keeps giving – the synth jazz keyboard solo is one of my favourite moments on the entire album. I hope they play this live but with the tempo changes, it is unfortunately very unlikely. This song, along with a handful of other songs from the album will go into my list of all-time favourite Manics songs.

Complicated Illusions – 10/10
Having heard the live version the over the bank holiday weekend, I was really looking forward to hearing the recorded version of it. I can honestly say that I was not disappointed. The vibe is very similar to one of my most favourite Manics songs, Distant Colours, even going as far as sharing nearly the same chords. The chorus is a real ear worm and I hope this track gets a single release. The only thing that I don’t like about the song is that the harmonies on the choruses are hidden by the extreme amount of reverb and slap back echo applied to the vocals and instruments but my 10/10 score remains in spite of this.

Into The Waves Of Love – 8.5/10
When I first heard this one I cringed at the female wailing but having listened to it a few times since, I’ve accepted the song for what it is and now it’s safe to say that I’ve embraced it! Yes, the song is very light, poppy and not usually something I enjoy all that much but the chorus is pretty strong and there are some nice diminished chords in the verses to hold my interest. The instrumental/wailing section could have been taken from a mid-70s prog rock album, and that’s cool with me – certainly a nod to James’ recent solo work.

Blank Diary Entry – 8.5/10
Didn’t like this song at first but it is growing on me. The first thing that hit me was it sounded like the acoustic guitar riff was lifted from the rejected demo for Thirty Thousand Milk Bottles from Even In Exile. I know sod all about Mark Lanegan but this song sounds like what Rewind The Film could have sounded like had Richard Hawley sung along with James. It’s a good song, it reminds me of some of those acoustic Holy Bible b-sides with a more mature approach. I can’t quite place it but the guitar solo sounds like it was taken from a b-side from the EMG or TIMT era.

Happy Bored Alone – 9/10
Someone’s said this sounds like a b-side and I agree – but I love Manics b-sides so this song is like catnip to me. The intro sounds like something from GATS mixed with Duran Duran when the vocals kick in, perhaps. The ABBA influence is very strong on the chorus and I love those descending piano notes. I can imagine this one being performed live thanks to the fairly sparse arrangement and I’m looking forward to it.

Afterending – 10/10
I was going to give this 9.5/10 but to be honest that would be doing it a disservice. This is probably the most Lifeblood-esque song on the whole album, with influences from JDB’s two solo albums and a smattering of TIMT. Afterending is massively expansive and also gives me strong Badfinger vibes. When a song makes you grin and nod your head to the rhythm of it on your first listen then you know it’s going to be a good one! *If*this is the last ever track on the last album by the Manics then for me it’s a great way to go out but we all know that won’t happen!!
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