Your Love Alone Is Not Enough

If ever a song was going to bring the band back into the spotlight from a truly commercial standpoint, it was this. It was easily their most catchy slice of arena pop rock since This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and it was a hefty success. It reached 2 in the UK charts and stayed in the top 40 for seven weeks, making it their second most successful single. It didn’t reach number one though, kept off by some Beyonce/Shakira song that no-one remembers.

The song gets straight to the point – a big chord followed by the main hook, then into a song which is basically one giant singalong chorus, albeit with different peaks and diversions. James and Nina (from The Cardigans) work incredibly well together, the riffs and music are simple, the strings are there, but the finest moment is, seriously, a Nicky Wire vocal. As James and Nina are trading lyrics, Wire interjects with an emotional ‘I could have written all your lines’ and it’s perfect. The whole thing is perfect in fact. 10 years before this was Everything Must Go et al, and it is (at time of writing) 10 years since Your Love Alone Is Not Enough – methinks it’s time they unleashed another top 5 classic single.

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough: 4/Great



Rewind The Film

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

This song is for me the weakest of the band’s few songs which have been named after the album (or the album named after it). Like the rest of the album, it is slow and studied, and filled with melancholy – this one sadly feels too dull to me. I get the direction they wanted to take, and Richard Hawley is the perfect voice to fit the mood they were tryign to achieve. Still, I buy a Manics album and want to hear James sing. Hawley is of course preferable to Wire. It’s not terrible, but it is overlong. It has some nice little guitar parts before James does sing and as a whole the song gets much stronger when James does belt one out, strings coming in to join him. Everything around those moments is boring, for lack of a better word.

Rewind The Film: 2/Okay

13584972451606045848horse head mask-19

Let me know in the comments what you thought of the song, and if you haven’t heard it yet, click the link above!


Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

My favourite song from Lifeblood is unquestionably the warmest in terms of sound; that main riff is just so joyous that you’d expect this to be some triumphant song of rebellion, but lyrically it treads similar ground to much of the rest of the album, with admissions of defeat, of the mysterious passage of time sweeping so much away. It’s always lovely to hear the band at least sound so happy, and maybe there is hope and joy in the ’embrace with us, make your own glasnost’.


Glasnost: 4/Great

Misheard Lyrics: How many ancients not easily understood?

Actual Lyrics: Humiliation’s not easily understood

The Everlasting

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

I’ve never understood the hate this one gets, particularly from longstanding fans of the band. Perhaps it’s because it’s so overtly a ballad in sound, perhaps it’s because it revels in its own defeatism, perhaps its because there isn’t a trace of punk either in sound or attitude. What it is though is one of the most beautiful, tortured ballads ever written, the admission of a band who set out to conquer the world that they failed utterly (at least they believed they did) and that they lost so much along the way. It’s the most honest 6 minutes of tragedy you’re ever likely to hear, all played to gorgeous strings, broken up guitars, gut-wrenching melodies, and one of my all time favourite guitar solos – the stretched, extended notes fish-hooking into your soul and tearing for all they’re worth. A brutal and brilliant way to open the album.


The Everlasting: 4/Great

Misheard Lyrics: All you are old I hear you say

Actual Lyrics: Oh you’re old I hear you say

Groundhog Days

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

This is another one of those songs which I forget over the years – not because I don’t like it, just because it never seems to do enough to latch on to my psyche. In that way it’s always a treat to hear it again after a year or more as it instantly rushes back to me, but still is hidden enough that it’s a charming surprise. It follows a simple quiet verse, loud chorus format, melodies are fine throughout, but it’s most notable for that Nicky Wire ‘rap’ at the end followed by Bradfield solo. It’s a B-side from Ocean Spray and offers a more caustic sound than the single and given the experimental shown on the album this is the sort of song which easily have made the cut.


Groundhog Days: 3/Good

Misheard Lyric: Chocolate or cum/my knees are artificial

Actual Lyric: Chocolate or coke/my needs are artificial

If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

How to follow up the mammoth unexpected success of your last album? Release your biggest song? This single became the band’s first UK number 1, and remains their only single released in the US. Based around the idealism of young (Welsh) volunteers who signed up to fight with the rebels in the Spanish Civil War, the song has since been used for any number of causes, ironic, apt, or otherwise. With powerful, poetic, literary lyrics it is one of those songs it was always amusing to see people with barely a thought in their head singing along too, especially when it was released. The song is so effortlessly catchy that everyone gets swept along with it’s melancholy verse, string-drenched chorus, and it still holds probably the finest example of the Manics ‘ooh and aahs’ trademark thanks to that extended ending.


If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next: 4/Great

Misheard Lyric: Hosing your hair today/but I am past a feast

Actual Lyric: Holes in your today/but I’m a pacifist

Cardiff Afterlife

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

The oft-forgotten Lifeblood ends in fantastic form with this dedication to Richey. Unlike almost all of the album, the lyrics do not feel like something rubbed out inside thirty seconds on the condensation of a windowpane, and the coldness which is the main feature of the album becomes a cloak to wrap around oneself. Musically we have the powerful and emotional melodies that we love, and mix that with superb harmonica work and tumbling, confused harps, along with a very sudden hard stop, and it’s one of the best album closer’s the band has written.


Cardiff Afterlife: 4/Great