Hmm, take back everything positive I’ve ever said in my life about late-period Manics. This is an album of overly symphonic glurge adult-oriented rock music for people who don’t know how to rock waste of everyone’s time shut down of the previous album holocaust denying annoying-ass trying too hard to get on the radio poorly written music.
In order. First, the last album was a return, not to MSP’s previous form, but to the form of a band that remembered how to put a message together. Sad lyrics from dead friend accompanied by staccato, angry guitars that perhaps marked a strong new direction. Nope! This album is filled with orchestral slop and production frills. There’s a freaking unnecessary gospel choir on no less than four songs. And not for any good purpose: the songs are so treacly that any meaning sunken deep in their fat is swallowed up in the caked-on strings and “anthemic” choruses.
This is slow, old man “rock” music. I can’t see anyone under the age of 30 enjoying something so neutered and unfeeling. I wish it was dead. Postcards From A Young Man? More like “music from a bunch of old men!” I know I already made that comment. I’m sorry for wasting everybody’s time. But seriously, this is a joke for a group that once confounded America so badly they were rejected forever.
If it wasn’t obvious, this album is designed with trying to get on the radio, at any cost. Every song wants to be “A Design For Life” so bad! But they lack the part where that song was socially relevant, artistically meaningful, and melodically memorable. This is a bunch of nothing that makes me sad, like recent U2 makes me sad. It sounds like the fires of ambition have gone out completely and the band dumped water on the embers at 1:00 AM and went to bed after three beers.
Except the kind of great anti-car rant “Auto Intoxication” and the wherewithal to title a (bad) song “All We Make Is Entertainment.” I don’t know where that came from, but it sure wasn’t the same thing that let them to title the lead singer “It’s Not War (Just the End of Love).” That was probably the sadness of years