Postcards From A Young Man
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|1. (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love|
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|7. Golden Platitudes|
|8. I Think I Found It|
|9. A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun|
|10. All We Make Is Entertainment|
|11. The Future Has Been Here 4 Ever|
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2010 release, the 10th studio album from the Welsh trio. Postcards From A Young Man is the follow up to 2009's Journal For Plague Lovers but is musically very different and more in the vein of Send Away The Tigers and Everything Must Go with unashamed soaring choruses, lots of strings and gospel choirs. It was recorded in Cardiff with producer Dave Eringa and mixed by Chris Lord Alge in the U.S. The album features guest vocals from Ian McCulloch ("Some Kind of Nothingness"), John Cale on piano ("Auto-Intoxication") and Duff McKagen playing bass ("A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun"). Manics bassist Nicky Wire sings lead vocals on "The Future Has Been Here 4 Ever" alongside drummer Sean Moore on the trumpet. Columbia.
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Anyhoo, "Postcards" is an intentionally big, melodic, orchestral even, POP/powerpop record, with soaring choruses, strings, choirs, etc, but done Manics-style, with policial-leaning lyrics that are personal and emotional, with resources that are obscure to most and referenced in unique ways...like all their works, T.S. Eliot is quoted in the book(let), among many. The single "(It's Not War) Just The End Of Love" is a typically great Manics-styled pop tune, along the lines of "A Design For Life" or "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough", but very 2010, not retro. All 12 tunes are killer. Yes, there are B-sides on singles and 2 Japanese-only bonus tracks, but this deluxe box is not worth it to me...the demos are on, er, CASSETTE???!!??? And the DVD is good for maybe 1 watching...question is, how long is it?? And the spiral scrapbook is cool, as are the postcards, but you get the book condensed in the 2CD deluxe version, with the demos on a second CD, not cassette...so that version, in a gold-coloured, hard-covered book package (also limited edition and weirdly not available on Amazon), is better for me, and it's 80 bucks cheaper...I was a tad worried about the CDs though, as the pockets in the covers were a TAD too tight, but they are OK.
I'm also weirded out that "Postcards" is not available in the States domestically because this record is tailor-made for US radio and these songs would go over so well live and win over some American fans...but me, I've been a Manics freak since 1991 and "Genration Terrorists"...not easy being an American Manics fan, as this country never gave this Welsh trio any love over the years...
A shame totally.
Amazing, I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. A great album to introduce people to the Manics with, very accessible without compromising their music or style.
What I can't understand is, IF it's true that this release is a final attempt to reach the masses, WTF (why) is it only available as import 2 months past it's release date? There is something seriously wrong with record companies still treating music as if it were only available as LP/cassette, and holding back music from the fans that really want to support good music. If you are down with class act rock and roll, I suggest shelling out for the import, you won't be sorry. Long live Welsh talent!
release their 10th album since 1992. This is big, epic, high-gloss, orchestrated U.K. stadium rock
born of the peculiar strictures of British societal culture. The songs have a near-commercial
appeal that belies their lyrical intent, while the overblown choruses slowly reel you in with their
effusive excess. Includes guest spots from Ian McCullough (Echo & the Bunnymen) and Duff
McKagan (Guns N' Roses). Sometimes reminiscent of The Dears, Muse, Arcade Fire, The Kinks.