Manic Street Preachers – (It’s Not War) – Just the End of Love

Release Date 13/09/2010 (Columbia)

By Chris Gilliver

(It's Not War) Just The End Of LoveIt’s hard to imagine now, but at the turn of the millennium The Manics were firmly out of favour. I remember seeing a picture in the NME of an overweight, dishevelled looking James Dean Bradfield with a caption saying something like, “Who ate all the pies”? Trust the NME to not see beyond the image. This Is My Truth… may have abandoned the angry, overtly-political, self-abusing sound of an earlier manifestation, and replaced it with something more radio-friendly, but the album was stuffed full with warmly melancholic masterpieces.

Now look at them. They’ve recaptured the popularity of the Holy Bible/Everything Must Go period, but let’s be honest, not the quality. ‘(It’s Not War) – Just the End of Love’ is a solid single with the orchestral lushness of ‘Everything Must Go’, but underneath is a slightly clunky track, with a jarring chorus, and a filler of a guitar solo that’s as boring as a trained weasel fighter beating up otters. Bad this isn’t, but nor is it the return to form everyone’s been banging on about.

Still, I’m glad they are loved once more. They always seemed like a deeply earnest bunch who sincerely cared about both their message and the music – though, as he would surely admit, the music for Nicky Wire is very much a secondary (or tertiary) concern. Plus, in my teens I listened to them to the exclusion of all other music for at least a year, and Richie was my idol…

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