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I actively prefer the US version of Chemical World to either UK version. And to the Villa Rosie fan – I’m with you that it’s a definite grower that gets better with repeated listens…I love the guitar line. But I”ve always liked Colin Zeal best on that album, though For Tomorrow (Visit to Primrose Hill Extended Edition) is a CLOSE second.
Is it wrong to say that I found High Violet a little…boring? Don’t get me wrong – I really liked that album, but I feel that Boxer is much stronger. Some of the songs on HV were a little let down by the beauty of the production and probably could’ve stood to be a little rougher around the edges. I did love Lemonworld and Afraid of Everyone though.
Best song yet, and we’re 3 great songs into an album that is promising to live up to the high standards the band has already set.
Shades of Manic Street Preachers debut here, for a host of reasons.
I actually like the dry sound of Liams voice. A big change from the reverb soaked double-track of yesteryear. And, frankly, this is much closer to his live singing voice (for better or for worse). I’m really liking the direction of this album…it’s actually *interesting*! Color me pleasantly surprised.
I desperately tried to see them in Atlanta in ’99 for TIMTTMY but it proved to be logistically impossible. But you are correct – they have toured the US precisely twice in the past 15 years, and the tour before that was ill-fated as well: they were opening for Oasis when that tour was abruptly canceled in Charlotte in 1996.
Interesting tidbit – Sean Moore was sitting in an SUV outside of a bar across the street from the venue after the show, and chatted with a buddy and me for about 30-45 minutes. Great guy, and seemed genuinely excited about the reception they got here in the US. Anyway, thanks for the article…I look forward to more British bands feeling the love on Stereogum!
Michael – you are me. And because of that, I’m going to guess we were *both* at the Manics show at Webster Hall back in ’09. What an experience!
I like Holy Fire a lot – particularly My Number, Bad Habit and Out of the Woods. My main issue with the album is that, sonically, many of the songs have a similar sound. What I really loved about Total Life Forever was how each song had a vibe, and there was a cohesiveness to that vibe that stopped far short of every song sounding similar to one another. However, on this album, once you’re past My Number, every song has a similar hazy, reverby vibe that starts at Bad Habit, maybe lets up for Providence, but kicks right back in at Stepson ’til the end. Bloc Party encountered a similar problem with A Weekend in the City. I blame this completely on the production, as I like the *melodies* a lot. The production is very professional (as it should be with two giants at the helm), but I wish it wasn’t so samey sounding after My Number.
Having said that, I’m very excited for their tour and will definitely be rocking out to all 3 of their albums in immense anticipation of seeing them again. They seem like good guys, and I love the music they make.
Sounds like the catchiest thing they’ve written since Juicebox.
Don’t be surprised to see a new album from The National in the next 4 – 5 months either. Also: Foals and British Sea Power!
It’s too bad this song sounds like a poor version of “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris” because I generally really enjoy his solo stuff. Alas.
Loved it – similar in feel to Miami, with a little more Afro-beat throw in. Stoked for the album.
Not terrible, but do not get how this in any way resembles Bohemian Rhapsody.
People are rediscovering Blur. I think most people in the ’90s that were either A) British or B) Anglophiles enjoyed their music/were big fans, etc. Hard to say at the time, though, that people thought Blur was one of the great bands of the era. They were well-known for their singles and their wry take on British life, but the hushed tones and reverence for which they are spoken of today was missing. But like all things in life, time has passed, and people are reassessing their catalog and realizing that Blur was one of the great bands of the 90s and early 2000s.
I also think that Damon’s excellent work (and popular success) with Gorillaz/The Good, The Bad and The Queen et. al. have brought him a certain cultural capital that people are now applying to Blur as well. People’s perceptions of Damon as an artist have really changed in the past 10 years, thus inviting us to rethink Blur and their contribution to music. For the better, I say.
Look Inside America
I do love The Killers, but I’m just not a huge fan of their production. I can only imagine how great this song would be if the production was tighter and more focused. As it stands, I think there’s just too much space between all the instruments, making this song sound ironically smaller than it otherwise would have.
Though for all of my complaining, I’ll still listen to it on repeat for a while.
Todd Terje IS summer.
I just want to point out that car commercials have been shamelessly ripping off the sound and melody of various popular music for a long time as a way to avoid paying licensing fees.
Silent Alarm will probably always be their apex, but the clips sound like this could be their second best album. When Bloc Party is on, they are an excellent band. I’m hoping for good things.
Not to belabor the point, but Wikipedia doesn’t have that song listed as ever having been in the Top 40 in the UK.
I don’t know for sure, but it’s highly possible that wasn’t a big hit in the UK. It was released at the height of Britpop, so it may never have caught on over there.
So much this.
Much agreed with most everyone here – they aren’t an amazing band, but I somehow love their output. I was incredibly disappointed with Quicken the Heart; had it been a strong album, they could’ve really had an impact. As it was, they disappeared. Thankfully, this is about as good of a comeback as anyone could’ve hoped for, and I for one am eagerly looking forward to their next album.
Journal for Plague Lovers is incredible, and really should be on this list. One of the Manic Street Preachers finest albums.