Sound — 10
And after three years of waiting, the fans got surprised with "Lifeblood!" The Manic Street Preachers changed their sound, attitude and look after dealing with the departure of Richey James. I can't say if it's good or bad, I think they're just different. The album starts with "1985," a semi-anthemic rock tune with some keyboard effects that make the song sound brilliantly. After this song, the album gets more complex, but all the songs are great! My fav song is, without a doubt "Glasnost." I love the guitar effects and the vocals there. "I Live To Fall Asleep" is another tune that brings a different touch to the album (especially because of the beautiful piano riff). The funniest thing in all of this is that all along the years, the Manics have been trying to bring something fresh to the table, and despite of their age as a band, they always accomplish that mission.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are maybe the strongest point in the Manics. Thay can talk about politics, love, memories, society and relationships without falling out of line or becoming lame! That's something special and usually people don't see that in their songs, which is sad, but true. James Dean Bradfield is really one of a kind. His sing and guitar abilities are perfect. Every word he sings is filled with emotion and expression(something hard to find nowadays). Nicky writes most of the lyrics, so I guess he deserves a lot of credit too! He's the guy behind their first years of music and a great musician too. Though, his lyrics are hard to sing.
Overall Impression — 10
There's no other band that I can compare to the Manic Street Preachers (first because I hate when people try to get aspects of similarity in different bands just to bash them; second because they're a breeze of fresh air in Britpop). If the album was lost or stolen, I would buy it again for sure!