On Bowie's Footsteps - The Berlin Album Of Manic Street Preachers - Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3rd July 2014
Typically Manic Street Preachers: While many Britons are turning away from Europe, the unwavering socialist band from Wales is making a pro-European album. Especially Berlin and Bowie did it to the trio. As a surprise guest sings acting star Nina Hoss.
On "Futurology" presents the unpredictable, tight-left band from Wales from their playful and experimental side, it extends their sound and their songwriting - an unexpected career highlight after over 20 years in the Britrock business.
"It will sound much angular, very European," said bassist and songwriter Nicky Wire last year about the then untitled twelfth studio record of the "Manics", which are revered cultically in the UK and there always top rankings of the charts. Wire also revealed another surprise: "There will be a bilingual song with a German actress."
Meanwhile, we know who was meant: Nina Hoss, the blonde stage and film diva, sings the German part of the nervously driving electric rock song "Europe goes through me". After the impression of the British band Hoss plays here the "pan-European dominatrix" - which is meant expressly as a compliment.
With the text line "European dreams, European screams - European dreams, European screams" the song outlines a main theme of the album - claim and reality, beauty and disunity of a continent, from which the British compatriots of Manic Street Preachers increasingly alienate themselves. Nicky Wire, however, emphasizes his sentimental enthusiasm for the European idea - despite all the criticism, he is "an anti-Eurosceptic," as he told the Guardian.
Electronically charged sound The 13 songs were mainly recorded in the famous Berlin Hansa Studios - exactly where David Bowie created masterpieces such as "Heroes" in the 70s.
The spirit of the currently celebrated superstar in a major exhibition can be felt on "Futurology": Not only instrumentals like "Dreaming A City (Hugheskova)" or "Mayakovsky" are reminiscent of the cool soundscape of Bowie's music, which was influenced by German electronics pioneers like Kraftwerk Berlin years.
The atmosphere of the now world-famous metropolis has inspired the guitar rock band Manic Street Preachers to an electronically charged sound. In the song "Misguided Missile" Wire even includes the words "Sturm und Drang" and "Schadenfreude".
But proven qualities are also cultivated on "Futurology" - in angry, punk-influenced anthems like "Let's Go To War" and "Sex, Power, Love And Money", or in gorgeous ballads like "Between The Clock And The Bed".
Here is dividing James Dean Bradfield - As a singer / lead guitarist back in high form and long since one of the very big of his guild - the spotlight with Green Gartside by Scritti Politti, who contributes his typical silky-soft androgynous vocals.