Manic Street Preachers
Rewind The Film
Even on their best records, the Manic Street Preachers get caught between pop and pomposity, between punk spirit and soapbox posturing, as James Dean Bradfield insists on giving every vocal performance 110%. This, their eleventh studio release, is the most different-sounding Manics album to date, and by that I don't just mean that they've handed singing duties over to Cate Le Bon for 4 Lonely Roads and Richard Hawley for the title track. Rewind The Film is more of a stripped-back affair, with acoustic guitar to the fore and only occasional horns adding colour where its predecessor, Postcards From A Young Man, came with literally too many strings attached. Opening track This Sullen Welsh Heart sets a mature, folksy tone while Show Me The Wonder has an almost soulful bounce. That superb title track benefits from Hawley's inherent melancholy and some flamenco frills while Manorbier is a spacey instrumental that combines both mathrock patterns and Queen-style chorales. For all its diversity, it remains a Manics album through and through - just one that's older and wiser.