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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Manic Street Preachers
Send Away The Tigers
Red Ink

Rating: 8/10 ?


August 6, 2007
Manic Street Preachers are one of those bands that seemed to be going somewhere years ago, early on in their careers, but seemed to have lost whatever it was that made them stand out from the crowd after only a few albums and promptly melted into the background of mediocrity. The sound presented on the band's first three releases - Generation Terrorists, Gold Against The Soul and The Holy Bible - was raw and refreshing, yet with a pop sensibility few bands of their ilk had managed to find. Much to the credit of guitarist Richey James, who just vanished from the face of the earth after The Holy Bible, the Preachers' lyrics were always excellent, covering politics, pop culture, and depression with such a dark and gloomy slant that they made Nirvana's In Utero sound like a sunny Sunday stroll in the park. To be sure, early on the Manic Street Preachers really had it all balled up into one tight package at one time.

Then something happened. Richey disappeared, which everybody thought meant that the band would split up, but a few years later they returned with critically acclaimed Everything Must Go. They caught their fans by surprise; the sound was more pompous, with an almost arena rock pompousness. Coincidentally, this was also when the band broke, becoming a mainstream name with a mainstream following. As the music industry repeatedly proves, bigger isn't always better and the records to follow Everything Must Go all sounded tired and uninspired.

Manic Street Preachers' eight full length effort, Send Away The Tigers is pure joy to a legion of old school Manic fans, its sound harkening back to their halcyon days. In the run-up to its release, bassist and lyricist Nicky Wire explained that to make Tigers the band had gone back to the source, revisiting inspiration provided by The Clash and Sex Pistols in an effort to simplify things. This is energetic rock and roll, far from the buttery Bolton sound of some of their most recent releases, and the rewards of their regression can be heard throughout the album.

A traditional Manics composition where James Dean Bradfield's vocals really get a chance to shine, "Send Away The Tigers" opens the eponymous album. Through his delivery Bradfield conveys a real satisfaction with the new material, and not since the mid 90's has he sounded so inspired.

The first single of the album is also the best song on it, namely "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough." The track is a duet with Nina Persson of The Cardigans, a great singer who coincidentally was born just one day before this reviewer, in the same hospital, on a cold September day in Sweden. "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" is a sweet song, and although Wire's lyrics don't quite match the potency of James', they still fit the Manic's sound, resulting in a song that feels completely thought through.

Brimming with fine pop compositions of the slightly harder kind, Send Away The Tigers will definitely yeild a new batch of favorites with each listen. For anyone who has ever been a Manic Street Preachers fan, the rewards for the band's return to the sound of their earlier days are not to be beat. It feels like a dear old friend has come back after being away for ages.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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