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What Good Times - Mondo Sonoro, 25th November 2004

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Title: What Good Times
Publication: Mondo Sonoro
Date: Thursday 25th November 2004

They affirmed in an occasion that any integral band had to separate after publishing its first disc. The words are blown by the wind and, without tearing their clothes, Manic Street Preachers publish "Lifeblood" (Sony, 04), their seventh album.

The most illustrious Welsh of today, leaving aside Super Furry Animals, continue walking with a firm step and oblivious to fashion. As they have done throughout most of their trajectory - with the exception of the slip that supposed "The Holy Bible" (1984) -, the trio formed by Dean Bradfield, Nick Wire and Sean Moore has recorded the album that they wanted. While "Know Your Enemy" (2001) was a return to the sound of guitars, "Lifeblood" is a return to the elegant sounds, shielded in a mantle of sophisticated electronics. They do not load the inks in the arrangements, as in "Everything Must Go" (1996) -work with which they obtained greater recognition-, but they get another work polished and without stridencies. A disc full of personal tributes. Via telephone is Sean Moore, battery of the formation, is who clarifies us the concepts. "We have been working on this album for three years and, during this period, we have taken stock, so it is normal that there are so many references. '1985 'is dedicated to our beginnings, very confusing times in which we had many illusions. From 'Bluety' came the embryo of what would later be Manics, and at that moment we were all three together. First we had Flicker and then Richey James appeared. We also refer to him in'Cardiff Afterlife', since there was the apartment where he was for the last time. 'The Love Of Richard Nixon' is a new demonstration of our political and social involvement, especially in such stormy times, with the American elections falling. We had talked about the Spanish Civil War, the tragedies in the football stadiums, we had shown our sympathy for Cuba and the Castro regime, so now it's Richard Nixon's turn ."

"Libertines, for example, are not bad, but that's very little. We demand much more from any group that starts from scratch " The dance of producers on this album, as it happened in "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours", is dizzying, although this time stands out above the others Tony Visconti, famed genius of the mixes that already in the seventies worked with artists like T-Rex or David Bowie. "Tony Visconti is always associated with glam, but that happens because they were his first works and with important musicians. After that he has worked with all kinds of artists and controls any type of style, so it is not unreasonable that we have worked with him on our most pop and mature album. Greg Haver has produced much of the album. He was with us on'This Is The Truth ... '. With Dave Eringa (producer of'Know Your Enemy' and'Gold Against Soul') there was no problem, but we preferred to reserve him for more rock albums . " Changing the third, Manic Street Preachers have many concerns outside the group. One of them is the theater. They did their bit to save the Cardiff theater and now they have signed the soundtrack for the play "The War Is Dead, Long Live The War", written and directed by Patrick Jones, brother of Wire himself. "We are passionate about art, and any form of expression that is available to the human being, be it theater, film or music, but the purest, live and real is theater. Patrick, who has written in'Lifeblood 'part of the song'Fragments', asked us if we could compose the music of the work and for us it was a pride " . They are also involved in many other topics, from their own website (nominated Best Music Web at the People Choice Awards) to the annual group fan conventions, which they do not organize, but they do try to control. That does not take away time to take a look at what is happening around them. "We do not find too many interesting things among the new groups. We really do not see anything that is worth much. The Libertines, for example, are not bad, but that's very little. We demand much more from any group that starts from scratch ."