Journal for Plague Lovers review by Manic Street Preachers

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  • Released: May 18, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (20 votes)
Manic Street Preachers: Journal for Plague Lovers

Sound — 8
The album is an eccentric rock album and whilst being one of Manic's albums with a slightly harder edge, they still manage to contrast this with some interesting sounds. The rock edge of songs such as 'Peeled Apples' with the smooth soft rock edges from 'This Joke Sport Severed'. The variety here is still what you'd expect from this band with some interesting riffs and some interesting sounds, whilst still sounding like the rock band you'd like to here. Another notable thing is that this album should appease older listeners who have criticised Manics for being too commercial, whilst this should satisfy the average modern rock listener. There is nothing extraordinary about how original this album is, but you will definitely will not be hearing a repeat of something, nor will this be repeated. The mixing, whilst is superb in quality, I would argue it is not the best suited for the album. However, it is well produced and it still comes off as authentic.

Lyrics — 9
This is one of the most important parts of the album, and for a good reason. This is entirely made up from lyrics and poetry from their original vocalist Richey, who went missing in 1993 and was presumed to be dead last year. Those who are familiar with the album 'Holy Bible' can expect those sort of lyrics, but should not expect a repeat. The vagueness of the lyrics will put some people off, but the wit will draw some people in. The humour remains, the cynicism is still there. The band do implement these lyrics well; you feel as if the lyrics were written for the music rather than the music was written for the lyrics, so there is no problem there. Nevertheless, the lyrics are clever and definitely are a highlight of the album, regardless of its back story.

Overall Impression — 8
This is a normal Manics album but is definitely one of their best; I would not think that Manics fans would be disappointed in this CD and I would possibly recommend this album as a good starting point. It does not hold a feel of which older fans would criticise as being 'commercial' and the album as a whole works well. There is much 'mainstream' about this album although it could very well appeal to. The lyrics are clever and arrange the album very well and there is a lot to enjoy from this album, which only increases after several more listens. Whilst this album is not for everyone, fans of the band will not be disappointed.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have to disagree with both of you, I think it's a near perfect album and they best one since EMG. You enjoyed SATT didn't you? That would explain things. :/
    Can't say I'm convinced by this review. Schoolboy error to say Richey was the vocalist. Anyway, the Manics have been my favourite band for a long time, and I'm disappointed by this album. Other than Me And Stephen Hawking, Peeled Apples and Jackie Collins I can take or leave it, the album on the whole really bores me.
    I agree with TJ1991... This album kinda feels like it was done half-arsed. Lyrics are great though.
    I can listen to anything by this band, they are so wildly talented. James can do anything with his voice and guitar, and Nicky's lyrics are always world class. The Holy Bible days with Richie were definitely their prime though.
    Great album, I must say. Thanks for contributing to the reviews.
    Craigo wrote: Whilst the 1993 disappearance was a genuine slip up, the vocalist error was my bad. Regardless, shouldn't take anything off my review. Everything there is honest.
    S'all cool, everyone makes mistakes. And a review is one person's opinion, so... Personally, I find the there's just something missing, and I feel that a lot of the songs are very incoherent.
    I think Richard Edwards was the bassist who disappeared in 1995 and was assumed dead last year some time. He wrote a lot of lyrics though, and James then transfered it into the music. I think that's right, anyway. I'm really looking forward to this album.
    1 f the songs is exact same as from despair to where. only listened through it once but seems ok angrygoldfish, richey played guitar and wrote not bass.
    Whilst the 1993 disappearance was a genuine slip up, the vocalist error was my bad. Regardless, shouldn't take anything off my review. Everything there is honest. I would say that is this one of their better albums - I do like what was done here.