Saturday, November 20, 2010

Manic Street Preachers - Postcards from a Young Man (9.6 out of 10)

When was the last time you heard legit, straight-ahead guitar solos in rock music? Or heard a genuinely great band on top of their game, playing with joy, power and utter conviction? This is that album. These rockers from Wales have been doing it for 25 years now and are always festival headliners in Britain. Unfortunately, they've never sniffed popularity here in the States which is our loss in a world of Gaga's and Katy Perrys. James Dean Bradfield's voice and guitar work give life to Nicky Wire's (as always) insightful, if not cynical social commentary lyrics. "Teenage Dream" this ain't. I haven't consistently enjoyed an album this much since Queen's "A Night at the Opera" in 1976, and I've listened to Postcards From a Young Man through at least 10 times now. Nicky Wire describes this album as Van Halen meeting Motown, or Queen combined with ABBA. Sign me up! This is a classic album and one to be treasured by all fans of rock and roll music. This is my album of the year, and definitely one of my 5 favorite albums of all-time. Tell me what band rocks with the utter passion as the Manic Street Preachers do on a song like "Auto-Intoxication"? "It's Not War (Just the End of Us)" is also the song of the year. Nobody does it like this anymore - for now, the Manics are the last of the mohicans.

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