The Great Western

Studio Album by released in 2006
The Great Western's tracklist:
That's No Way to Tell a Lie
An English Gentleman
Bad Boys and Painkillers
On Saturday Morning We Will Rule the World
Run Romeo Run
Still a Long Way to Go
To See a Friend in Tears
Say Hello to the Pope
The Wrong Beginning
Which Way to Kyffin

The Great Western review

A fresh optimistic record and a worthy start of a solo career

James Dean Bradfield is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the famous Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers, which with varied success has released several albums including Lifeblood and There By The Grace Of God. There being some difficulties within the group, James Dean has pursued a solo career, and this July his solo debut The Great Western has seen the light of the day. Bradfield has written the majority of lyrics on the album, and the author of the lyrics on one of The Great Western’s songs has become the band’s bassist and lyricist and Bradfield’s friend Nicky Wire. The prevailing sounding on the album is closer to power pop music rather than rock, and the variety of instruments differs considerably from the works of Manic Street Preachers. Bradfield demonstates the tendency to look for new unusual combinations of musical techniques, which speaks for his inventiveness and rich imagination that has been less noted when he was a part of the band. James Dean’s strong vocals harmoniously blend with xylophones, harmonicas and make The Great Western a better album than anything done by Manic Street Preachers lately. This is a fresh optimistic record, and a worthy start of a solo career.

All the songs on The Great Western come from the singer’s heart

To catch all the hooks and shades of Bradfield’s voice it is necessary to give The Great Western more than one listen. The first single That’s No Way To Tell A Lie opens the album with a sharp guitar, original synths and handclaps and surprises with a soft guitar solo in the middle. Nicky Wire’s song Bad Boys And Painkillers pleases with its wonderful acoustic guitars and a catchy melody, while the brisk track On Saturday Morning We Will Rule The World serves to ginger the listeners with its energetic tempo and powerful vocals. Run Romeo Run resembles Manic Street Preachers at their early years for the song is meant to playing it loud and singing along, and contrasting with it the slow ballad Still A Long Way To Go tells about the hardships of making a relation last long. James Dean Bradfield’s cover of Jacques Brel’s song To See A Friend In Tears sounds a bit cooler than the original giving a different attitude to the track and a new understanding of its sense. The Wrong Beginning is another unforgettable song with an amazing chorus and instrumental background. All the songs on The Great Western come from the singer’s heart, and from the very beginning till the album’s closer Which Way To Kyffin it is clear that James Dean’s has been long remaining in the shadow, and today his personality has finally found its way to be given full swing and shine.

All the best is ahead of James Dean Bradfield

Whenever a musician starts a solo career, one is always in danger to be constantly compared to the band. With James Dean Bradfield, however, this danger seems negligibly small for The Great Western is a fine album that promises fame to its creator apart from Manic Street Preachers. The texts of the songs contain much less political questions and are rather personal and filled with rich images. The band’s fans are going to comprise only some part of all who are about to appreciate Bradfield’s solo debut. Since it takes time to get the complete impression of the album the number of fans is going to increase gradually, some of them will have a thing about the instrumental part, the others will value the lyrics more and some will have the whole album as their favorite. Besides, each particular song is unique and can be considered a hit, and all together they compile an outstanding record. The generally positive atmosphere of The Great Western witnesses James Dean confirmed optimism and self-belief, which are sure to help him in creating more and more new collections of original and bright songs just as the first solo record. He has lost neither his loud screaming vocals, nor the ability to write witty lyrics, nor the sense of tune and rhythm – so all the best is ahead of this talented musician.

Rate review5.00
Total votes - 53

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