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Journal for Plague Lovers Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 19, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Manic Street Preachers return with their ninth studio album, Journal For Plague Lovers. The album follows the hugely successful and critically acclaimed 2007 release Send Away The Tigers, and the induction of the band into the NME s Hall Of Fame with their naming as the "NME Godlike Genius" for 2008. Produced by Steve Albini and recorded live at Rockfield Studios in Wales during the Winter of 2008, the album features lyrics left behind by former guitarist Richey Edwards across all 13 new tracks. An original piece of Jenny Saville s art is the cover of Journal for Plague Lovers, whose painting graced the cover of 1994 s The Holy Bible . Musically the band draw on their classic Holy Bible sound with elements of Nirvana s In Utero, as well as a delicate, beautiful acoustic side.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 19, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B0020HRI8I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Everyone will be talking about the lyrics left behind by Richey Edwards, but it's the music on Journal for Plague Lovers that makes the album really worth listening. The Manic Street Preachers have long been masters of soaring choruses and catchy hooks, and this album combines the brash hard rock of their younger years with the pop sensibilities culled from their maturity and wisdom. "Marlon J.D.", whose melody was significantly contributed by Nicky Wire, and hidden track "Bag Lady" are some of the best examples of this formula; and are sure to go down as classics. Steve Albini's mix brings to the forefront two of the Manics' best musical assets--James Dean Bradfield's mighty voice and oft-unsung drummer Sean Moore's efforts. May be a difficult initial listen, but repeated spins will be rewarded.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a longtime Manics fan - like a lot of fans the Holy Bible (THB) is my favorite. (Okay, here's my big chance to be a pretentious music critic...) Journal for Plague Lovers (JFPL) is as close as the Manics have come to the Holy Bible but it is still very different - Richey's lyrics are fragmented/unfinished (think of his songs on Everything Must Go) and the music is less agressive (but not too much!). Fans of THB don't fret - these are both dark rock albums - THB seemed to be more about the outside world (though that was often a foil for Richey) and bombastic, while JFPL is clearly much more introverted, and the songs are more melodic/beautiful. JFPL has some catchy songs, and even if the lyrics are abstract, their elusiveness harkens back to the Richey-era Manics and they sound like they make sense when sung by James. The last track "William's Last Words" is sung by Nicky - but he does a decent job, and it really is one of the most touching, sad songs I've ever heard. A great Manics album - non-fans might not fully appreciate the history behind it, so it may only be a 3.5-4 star album for them. The songs are short, polished, cohesive, and I can't stop listening them.

This version is worth it for fans because the sweet journal-like book with artwork by Richey. It is a hardcover book a little longer than a normal CD case, and contains about 30 pages - typed lyrics that don't always match the songs, and about a dozen drawings by Richey. The book is a little morbid as you might expect - like going into a dead person's home.

The demos on the 2nd CD though are a let down, and really aren't that much different than the LP tracks, other than having Nicky half-heartedly sing the title track and "Marlon JD". I wish they had James sing "Williams Last Words" on the demos. While the demos for the Holy Bible were cool to hear because the album is a classic, these don't do much for me a week after the album is released - I'd rather just listen to the album.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Well, the new Manics album has finally arrived (in America), and it was definitely worth the wait: this album is simply stunning in how great it is. You probably won't find these angular post-punk tunes immediately accessible, but the hooks will reveal themselves after repeat listens and you may just find yourself waking up in the morning singing one of them. (I do.) Stand-out tracks include "Peeled Apples" (a raging rocker with a wicked drumbeat), "Jackie Collins Existential Question Time" (which raises an actual, semi-serious question), the title track and "She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach" (which make for quite a blistering one-two punch), "Facing Page: Top Left" (a delicate ballad very reminiscent of "Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky" from their Everything Must Go album), and "Virginia State Epileptic Colony" (which may be the closest thing the album has to a pop single). But really, every song on this album is fantastic, with the possible exception of bassist Nicky Wire's vocal turn on "William's Last Words" - but even that one has a charm to it. Arguably the best thing the Manics have released since The Holy Bible album, one thing is beyond dispute: Journal For Plague Lovers should be on every single year-end best-of list.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the first time I am listening to a Manic Street Preachers album. And I greatly enjoyed it. I mostly pay attention to the music and the harmony within, so lyrics come a distant second for me. The album felt like warping through the time, sound of multiple generations. Different styles meshing together. I guess that is what made the album greatly enjoyable for me. Also, this album feels like a mainstream converted version of Dream Theater or Faith No More albums, with Pulp added to the mix. Strong sound, softened at times to remind its origins...A fitting entry to my collection of great music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beware this is not a deluxe edition as described, it the single cd standard edition packaged in the standard jewel case. Sold by Newbury Comics. This is the second time this has occurred when I purchased what I believed to have been a deluxe edition from Newbury Comics.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I would like to begin this review by writing about how much I admire the Manic Street Preachers and how I am fortunate to own every album of theirs especially the Japanese versions which usually include fantastic songs that are usually unavailable anywhere else (unless you "find" them on a file sharing network:) Unfortunately I was a little disappointed with the two extra songs on this version. I think the rest of the album is phenomenal. It is second only to "The Holy Bible" lyrically and musically. The first extra track "Alien Orders/Invisible Armies is a brief instrumental that could have been great if it had lyrics to it. The title comes from a line in Richey Edwards diaries which I guess did not include anything further to turn into a memeorable vocal melody. It's a letdown since the track is a fairly driving song with an ethereal breakdown. Worth listening to once but is fairly inessential. The other song is a cover by the obscure 1980's indie group Felt who were once signed to the pre-Oasis era Creation Records label. I have never heard the original version since most of Felt's records are extremely difficult to locate even in the UK. James Dean Bradfield does a splendid vocal (as always) and it is an acoustic based slow song whose chorus: "Oh you should see, my trill of disgrace, it's enough to scare the whole human race" could have been something Richey Edwards (who is responsible for all the lyrics on the rest of the album) might have come with.
After this song their is a few moments of silence before the "hidden" track "Bag Lady" (which is available in the standard editions of the album) begins. The Japanese booklet contains the lyrics (by Richey) for this song in english, which is a nice bonus I guess.

I am not going to go into any detail about the other tracks.
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