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I Killed The Zeitgeist Review - The Guardian - ★★★☆☆

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Betty Clarke

Fri 22 Sep 2006 00.07 BST First published on Fri 22 Sep 2006 00.07 BST

I Killed the Zeitgeist by Nicky Wire "This is my last crusade," says Nicky Wire in his solo debut. "No one's listening anyway." Yet two years on from the last Manic Street Preachers release, and following James Dean Bradfield's album, Wire sounds not defeated but energised. Though his indelicate voice - a cross between an under-the-weather Graham Coxon and underwhelmed Lou Reed - is something only a fan of vacuuming could love, the lack of frills adds a nihilistic edge to the tasteful romance. Sehnsucht, a tender instrumental, is named for the German word for "longing", and the theme runs like electricity through the poetic, political, intensely personal songs. From the burning passion of You Will Always Be My Home to the petulant entreaties of Break My Heart Slowly, Wire's words transcend the odd mix of spoken-word intros, graceful rock guitars and eccentric post punk rhythms. They're not attacking the zeitgeist - just tickling its soft underbelly and sneering at its lack of charm.