Journal for Plague Lovers

Studio Album by released in 2009
Journal for Plague Lovers's tracklist:
Peeled Apples
Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
Me and Stephen Hawking
This Joke Sport Severed
Journal for Plague Lovers
She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach
Facing Page: Top Left
Marlon J.D.
Doors Closing Slowly
All Is Vanity
Pretension/Repulsion
Virginia State Epileptic Colony
William's Last Words

Journal for Plague Lovers review

Manic Street Preachers: a true return to form

The Welsh team Manic Street Preachers needs no presentation. Its music that joins in it the alternative rock characteristics with some heavier hard rock elements has been pleasing the fans for the third decade already and the fan base is increasing with each new creation. Yet the story of the lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards’ mysteriously disappearing in 1995 is known even to those who are not interested in the creative work of Manic Street Preachers itself. Last November Richey was officially declared presumed deceased and the band members – vocalist and guitarist James Dean Bradfield, bassist Nicky Wire and drummer Sean Moor – could not help reacting the event. This May they release their ninth record Journal For Plague Lovers all on which all the lyrics are those written by Edwards and given by him to the guys not so long before his vanishing, thus they are the last thing he wrote. One of the most vivid and darkest creations in Manic Street Preachers’ discography the album Journal For Plague Lovers has become a true return to form that the fans have been anticipating for quite some time.

Each track pretends to be a highlight on Journal For Plague Lovers

One can have no doubt that Journal For Plague Lovers is going to become the beginning of a new chapter in the creative work of Manic Street Preachers and its previous record, 2007’s Send Away The Tigers 2007 has been in fact only the warming-up before this monumental album. The band has recorded several powerful stadium songs such as the opener Peeled Apples and the title track – the drums play the leading role here making the rest of the instruments sound even more expressive. Naturally Bradfield’s vocals are faultless as always and on these songs he obviously sounds even more soulful. There are no failures on this album at all and each of the tracks pretends to be a highlight most of them being refined with the spoken texts in different languages. The composition Jackie Collins Existential Question Time is defined with a beautiful melodious chorus, the introspective song Me And Stephen Hawking is characterized with splendid guitar hooks and She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach is refined with an amazing bass line. Besides, many listeners will surely appreciate the marvelous ballad This Joke Sport Severed with the most unusual and a bit hostile effects in the middle and an excellent orchestra arrangement. The composition making one reflect, slow Facing Page: Top Left is probably one of the lightest on the record and is remarkable for a contagious rhythm, whereas Marlon J.D proves to be a much sharper and more acute-angled piece. Another ballad Doors Closing Slowly is among the most complicated on the album due to rather heavy drums and guitars that never let the listeners relax for a single second and the most powerful chorus refines no light number All Is Vanity. The song Virginia State Epileptic Colony is refined with the spoken text in pure Russian in the background, and the longest track is William's Last Words, a real low-tempo epos refining the album as well.

An album to be proud of

Despite the fact that there are enough of qualitative works in Manic Street Preachers’ discography in this case paying a tribute of respect to his friend the guys have really tried hard and done their best to make him feel proud. Reminding of Holy Bible, the last album recorded with Richey Edwards, in the respect of content Journal For Plague Lovers is similar to it in appearance, too – the cover art is once again the illustration of Jenny Saville’s picture. By the way just as it happened last time the picture has caused dispute among the censurers as some of them think it too shocking to that extent. Anyway, Journal For Plague Lovers is just what it is: heavy, powerful, many-facted and sending us back to 13 years ago when Manic Street Preachers were still a quartet. Richey Edward has always been invisibly present on the band’s albums but it is felt on these songs as never before. One can be sure that Journal For Plague Lovers is going to become a critical point in the Welsh band’s creative work and be followed by some new successful beginnings.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (21.05.2009)
Rate review4.91
Total votes - 83


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