Manic Street Preachers
Futurology


4.5
superb

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
July 19th, 2014 | 16 replies


Release Date: 07/15/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: He who controls the past controls the future

History hangs over the Manic Street Preachers more than most bands.

Be it their combative early days, the disappearance of Richey Edwards or the strong body of work they’ve released while still in their erstwhile guitarist’s shadow, MSP have remained stalwarts of British music despite any number of accidental or self-imposed obstacles.

Their most recent records have leaned very heavily upon the concept of history and the self-imposed mythology that surrounds the Welsh trio. Journal For Plague Lovers in essence put the ghosts of Richey away in a box, Postcards From A Young Man spoke of a group of men coming to terms with the present while Rewind The Film was akin to a OST love letter to a life well lived.

But one of the reasons MSP remain so popular and vital is their steadfast refusal to rest on their laurels. Futurology wraps up the ideals of what has come before it, mixed it with their present experience and forged ahead with songs that demonstrate a group with a lot more life in them yet.

There’s plenty to be pleased about here. The album’s eponymous opening track acts as a mission statement (“We’ll come back one day/We never really went away/One day we will return/No matter how much it hurts.”), before melting slowly and sweetly into songs like “Walk Me To The Bridge” and “Let’s Go To War”; combining 80’s New Wave stylings with an off-kilter stream of energy that has always been with MSP.

It’s these anchors to the past that provide the album’s best moments. The seeming obsession with Old Europe and nation state power structures remains and fully evident in the sprightly “The Next Jet To Leave To Leave Moscow”. Similarly, “Europa Geht Durch Mich” carries these themes over thudding bass, alarms and a drum beat like a jackbooted army heading to war.

MSP’s old glam rock leanings reappear too. “Sex, Love, Power and Money” rides on the crest of a riff that wouldn’t be out of place on Generation Terrorists. “Dreaming A City (Hugheskova)” and “Mayakovsky” are high-octane sci-fi instrumentals that call to mind the sight of Prince Vultan and his winged soldiers flying into Ming’s fortress.

Between all of this and the funk-driven “Misguided Missile”, the quiet introspection of “Divine Youth” and the wonderfully schizoid closer “The Last Time I Saw Paris”, there really is something for everybody here.

History is a fable written by the victors. It’s been a long war but the Manic Street Preachers have always been in control of their own destiny.



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jordan. CONTRIBUTOR (4)
"...Working Class Skeletons Lie Scattered in Museums..."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2014


16008 Comments


A Viney review! I like what I've heard from these guys but most of it was their older stuff.

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greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2014


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes. The album's really good. Great review Joseph.

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klap
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2014


10421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

will have to get this one

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RobbaqPL
July 19th 2014


160 Comments


4.5, huh? Their last two albums did absolutely nothing for me, but maybe I'll check this one out after all...

Rowan5215
July 19th 2014


26450 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Futurology wraps up the ideals of what has come before it, mixed it with their present experience and forged ahead with songs that demonstrate a group with a lot more life in them yet."
should be "mixes" and "forges"
great review though wish I liked the album this much

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Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
July 20th 2014


2515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Brilliant review, Viney. Easily one of my favourite writers, and I absolutely adore the album. Might have to bump my rating.

Digging: Aphex Twin - Syro

makrand
July 20th 2014


13 Comments


Haven't tried this yet. Miss Richey Edwards.

Digging: R. Kelly - Untitled

makrand
July 20th 2014


13 Comments


Brilliant review as always. :D

ProjectFreak
July 20th 2014


1352 Comments


"The Next Jet To Leave To Leave Moscow"
too many too leaves?

Hep Kat
July 20th 2014


15351 Comments


I liked postcards, but rewind was pretty lame. I'll check this though

Cimnele
July 23rd 2014


359 Comments


a 3 to 3.5 prob

remember when the Manics used song structures other than verse chorus verse chorus thing chorus outro? like the diversity of this album is through the roof but it's predictable as a fuckin' Rammstein album

jefflebowski
July 23rd 2014


8243 Comments


^this is a very apt observation

Digging: Shellac - Dude Incredible

Cimnele
July 23rd 2014


359 Comments


although i guess it's a criticism overdue by about six albums lol

jefflebowski
July 23rd 2014


8243 Comments


i think journal for plague lovers bucked the trend a bit, it had some fantastic tracks and that sweet albini sound

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
July 23rd 2014


13139 Comments


i love jviney

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welshman10
July 23rd 2014


10 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cimnele, I don't really get the criticism

Even in the last year, we've had numerous guest singers (male and female), instrumentals, 80s keyboards, the reworking of an old instrumental, krautrock, marching songs, acoustic folk ballads and classic indie rock anthems.

One thing the Manics are definitely not is predictable...

Compare this to, say U2, who rehash and release the same Edge riff every 2-3 years, yet they frequently get called the biggest band in the world.



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