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New Manics Album With Richey Edwards' Lyrics - 4 Real? - The Guardian, 5th November 2008

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Title: New Manics Album With Richey Edwards' Lyrics - 4 Real?
Publication: The Guardian
Date: Wednesday 5th November 2008

The lyrics to the Manic Street Preachers' next album won't be written by Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield or Sean Moore, the band has announced. They will instead be the work of long lost guitarist Richey Edwards.

No, Edwards has not been found - but the group have decided to only use lyrics he left behind, paying tribute to the bandmate who disappeared in 1995.

"All the songs we are recording are lyrics left to us by Richey," they said in a statement on their website. "Finally it feels like the right time to use them ... It's a record that celebrates the genius of his words; full of love, anger, intelligence and respect."

The band announced that they are already in studio with Steve Albini, the celebrated American producer. Albini has produced albums by the likes of Nirvana, the Pixies, McLusky and PJ Harvey, and is known for his indie recording philosophy. "[We are] recording live - to tape - analogue - no digital hiss - no Pro Tools - no safety nets," the Manics wrote. "Quite scary, daunting but invigorating."

The album is being recorded with the working titles Journal for Plague Lovers, and I Know I Believe in Nothing But it is My Nothing. The Manics hope to release it in the spring.

"Musically, in many ways it feels like a follow up to The Holy Bible but there is also an acoustic side - tender, romantic, nihilism, Small Black Flowers That Grow in the Sky-esque," they wrote.

Edwards co-wrote the bulk of the Manics' material on celebrated albums like Generation Terrorists and The Holy Bible. Known for struggles with depression, he disappeared on February 1, 1995, after leaving London's Embassy Hotel. The guitarist was later seen near Severn Bridge - a common suicide location, - where many think he ended his life. In the years since then there have however been many rumoured sightings, and the Manic Street Preachers have set aside Edwards' royalties lest he reappear.

"We have to make this great," they said this week. "Wish us luck."