Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2009 Ratings: #35 / 866
Year End Rank: #31
User Score
Based on 48 ratings
May 19, 2009 / Release Date
LP / Format
Columbia / Label
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Most artists spend their careers attempting to move away from their early work, refusing to look back or take inspiration from their past. Why? Is it embarrassment they feel when confronted with their younger selves? Determination to

continuously improve on what’s gone before? Or is it the worry that, should they return to any previous incarnation, they’ll invite unwanted comparison with a time when they were, perhaps, better?

Seven months ahead of this album’s release, Richey Edwards was officially declared dead, and this album remains the only one to have full lyrics taken from the disappeared band mate, taken from a folder he left the group. Bradfield hoped to do them justice, and his vocals and guitar work certainly do. yet, this is no mere ‘Holy Bible’ Part II as some were led to expect. As Bradfield commented the best way to deal with melancholia is to turn to the life-affirming quality of ... read more
What's amazing on 'Plague Lovers' is how close the band come to mimicking the style of their '94 high water mark 'The Holy Bible' with the now middle aged Bradfield still surprisingly capable of delivering an authentic sounding snarl.

So what holds the boys back from true triumph? Well, the band managed to patch together old lyrics from Edwards' forgotten jottings and while some work as well as you'd hoped...others fall flat and aren't nearly as profound or interesting. Albini was brought in ... read more
Journal for Plague Lovers could be described as a trip down the nostalgia lane for the Manics. The lyrics are based solely on material left behind by disappeared lyricist and rhythm guitarist Ritchey Edwards and the music harks back to the band's first couple of records, particularly The Holy Bible and Everything Must Go. This decision gives the subject matter of the album that slightly bizarre political touch familiar from the early albums. It also renders some of the songs less interesting, ... read more
Fantastic alternative rock with britpop and power pop elements. Has lovely guitar work throughout, very reminiscent of their older sound but also newer, so it has lovely variation. The songs are really nice and straight-forward but not too stripped down. Nice blend of melody, power pop riffs, and lovely, standard rock-y vocals. It has a very nice tone and atmosphere about it too and has some really deranged yet intriguing song titles. Probably my favourite album of theirs; it just kicks ass and ... read more
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Track List

  1. Peeled Apples
  2. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
  3. Me And Stephen Hawking
  4. This Joke Sport Severed
  5. Journal For Plague Lovers
  6. She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach
  7. Facing Page: Top Left
  8. Marlon J.D. 
  9. Doors Closing Slowly 
  10. All Is Vanity 
  11. Pretension/Repulsion
  12. Virginia State Epileptic Colony
  13. William's Last Words

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