Album Review: Manic Street Preachers – Gold Against The Soul

21 Nov

So I’m not sure how familiar any of you are with the Manics, in case you have no idea who they are let me give you a quick refresher course. The Manics started out as a four piece Welsh band, the most interesting thing about them was their original lead songwriter Richey Edwards.
Richey wrote a bunch of politically charged and/or depressing lyrics that all sounded pretty great when they came out of James’ mouth (the singer). With their third album they arguably reached their peak; then Richey went missing, was presumed dead, and the quality of the band’s music went downhill. Not that it became bad ,nothing compared to their The Holy Bible peak. Alas this is not a review of The Holy Bible this is a review of the band’s second album and apparently their least favourite, Gold Against The Soul.

I’ve been listening to this album a lot lately and I’m not really sure why because honestly it’s not that great. Actually I think I know why, it’s because the first half of it is absolutely incredible, the second half just doesn’t live up to it at all but that’s okay because you’ll be too busy listening to the first five tracks to care. Kicking off with the absolutely incredible Sleepflower depending on what era of the Manics career you’re into you’ll start to wonder some kinds; if you’re into the early era you’ll think “wow this is incredible”, if you’re into the later era you’ll wonder when the Manics you know now replaced this better hard-rock sounding band. At times the album is really politically charged and a lot more upfront about it than any of their later works would ever be, one lyric that really stands out is from the title track which really highlights Richey’s views on what you could probably say is the hypocrisy of the modern world
“White liberal hates slavery
Needs Thai labour to clean his home.”

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