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Manics in KILLER powerpop mode...
on January 22, 2011
This record is great and kind of ironic...according to Nicky Wire, PFAYM is intended to be their last record aiming for commication with the masses...but it's not available domestically in the US, only their 2nd that is import only...the other is their misfired 2005 New Wave/Synthpop record "Lifeblood", and the 2 solo works...but their prior album, 2009's "Journal For Plague Lovers" was released and promoted here, and it was willfully difficult and uncommercial, yet great, a stylistic followup to 1994's "The Holy Bible" with Richie-penned lyrics...ironically, THB was released here as a 10th anniversary deluxe edition only, but never on it's initial release.
Anyhoo, "Postcards" is an intentionally big, melodic, orchestral even, POP/powerpop record, with soaring choruses, strings, choirs, etc, but done Manics-style, with policial-leaning lyrics that are personal and emotional, with resources that are obscure to most and referenced in unique ways...like all their works, T.S. Eliot is quoted in the book(let), among many. The single "(It's Not War) Just The End Of Love" is a typically great Manics-styled pop tune, along the lines of "A Design For Life" or "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough", but very 2010, not retro. All 12 tunes are killer. Yes, there are B-sides on singles and 2 Japanese-only bonus tracks, but this deluxe box is not worth it to me...the demos are on, er, CASSETTE???!!??? And the DVD is good for maybe 1 watching...question is, how long is it?? And the spiral scrapbook is cool, as are the postcards, but you get the book condensed in the 2CD deluxe version, with the demos on a second CD, not cassette...so that version, in a gold-coloured, hard-covered book package (also limited edition and weirdly not available on Amazon), is better for me, and it's 80 bucks cheaper...I was a tad worried about the CDs though, as the pockets in the covers were a TAD too tight, but they are OK.
I'm also weirded out that "Postcards" is not available in the States domestically because this record is tailor-made for US radio and these songs would go over so well live and win over some American fans...but me, I've been a Manics freak since 1991 and "Genration Terrorists"...not easy being an American Manics fan, as this country never gave this Welsh trio any love over the years...
A shame totally.