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Purity, Beauty, Truth - WOM Journal, November 1998

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ARTICLES:1998



Title: Purity, Beauty, Truth
Publication: WOM Journal
Date: November 1998
Writer: Michael Sailer


Three years ago, they seemed to be at an end, but instead of downfall, the triumphal ascent to superstars followed. On their fifth album, the Manic Street Preachers show themselves uncompromisingly as ever - yet again quite different.

Does anyone really want to hear the stories again: from cuts, devastated stages, insults to kings and queens, alienation, boredom, despair, makeup and glitter, vodka, anorexia, psychiatry and the disappearance of Richey Edwards? No other band has gone through as many spectacular ups and downs as the Manic Street preachers in the eighth and a half years since they shocked London journalists on their first gig in the metropolis with a 20 minute orgy of poses and noise. No other band has also undergone so complete a transformation in such a short time, and that is why we should be silent about the past.

"This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours" is the fifth album of the band, which since the last have been holding more and more people for the most important at least for the past ten years. It had been expected with the utmost suspense and many fears: Can the "Everything Must Go" be accounted for with the same accolades, similar to grandios, immaculate and cathartic? Even the first hearing makes it clear: One can, and indeed, do not even try.

"I am always surprised how positive and constructive" Everything Must Go "is," says bassist Nicky Wire. "It was a relief that we still existed as a band, so this euphoria, which is unusual for us, is almost a kind of triumph, but this time it was more like this: We are still but this is nothing special, and when we make a new album, we have to be better than we've ever been. " "The songs," adds James Dean Bradfield, in his typically tight manner, "are simply statements that stand for themselves."

For a good year it was quiet around James, who bought his first guitar at the age of 17 and was singing clash songs in Cardiff as a street musician, sometimes accompanied by Nicky Jones, who was called for his physical stature, and Drummer Sean Moore, the trumpeter as a boy played in a jazz orchestra and hopelessly lost in every hotel in the world. Nicky was enthusiastic about his passion for vacuuming and sports on television. James, who lived in London, was drinking a few beers here and there, and Sean (anyway, a passionate bartender and party hater) did nothing public at all.

The new slant of the once glaringly cultured terrorists to calmness and naturalness is a defining feature on the album (exactly nine years after their self-produced debut single "Suicide Alley", which at the time appeared in an edition of 300 pieces in hand-glued covers Record companies, managers and journalists). Was "Everything Must Go" a cleansing thunderstorm, which left a bewilderment and empty, the successor is almost painfully beautiful. Songs like "Ready For Drowning" or "Tsunami" flood the listener like the Pacific flood wave with images, memories, feelings.

"In the texts," says Nicky, behind whose sympathetically friendly smile formerly abysses of cynical sharpness could open, "is a clarity and tranquility that comes as I live, at home in Wales - retired, simple and still gave James the chance to live out musically because he did not have to cope with so much nihilism and frenzy as before: Nature plays a big role because my impressions come mainly from the view from the bedroom window and walks with my dog."

"Nobody Loved You" is a response to the tragic past. James: "That is to some extent addressed to Richey." "It's a bit sarcastic," Richey always felt that no one liked him, but many loved him: we, his family, the fans, everyone was worried about him, he may never have recognized it correctly."

"If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next", which the Manics show loudly and furiously as before, melancholy is a determining feature of the album. Perhaps that is the age, says James, "If you are young, you want to smash everything and defeat the world, but as you grow older, you will know that you will usually lose.