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Friday, September 11, 1998 Published at 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK


Entertainment: New Music Releases

Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers - This is my truth tell me yours (Epic)

The angry young Manics of old have now fully evolved into world-weary maturity.

Yet far from sounding jaded, they have found fresh inspiration in the sense of uncertainty and even resignation running through much of the album.


[ image: They have found fresh inspiration through much of the album]
They have found fresh inspiration through much of the album
This more low-key approach allows them to explore new territory only ever touched on before, as James Dean Bradfield's husky yelp and overdriven guitar sound fade firmly into the background to reveal a singer of real subtlety working in a rich musical landscape.

The songs, too, are the strongest yet from a band which seems to have taken its new-found major league status in its stride.

Sumptuous opener The Everlasting sets a sad tone which re-emerges time and again - in the mournful cello of My Little Empire, the brittle minor chord twist of You're Tender and You're Tired and the ghostly guitar line of Be Natural.

And the largely downbeat tunes are met with more than a hint of disillusionment in lines such as "I don't believe in it anymore, pathetic acts for a worthless cause" or "What is there to believe in?"


[ image: The lyrics of bassist Nicky Wire may never match those of Richey Edwards]
The lyrics of bassist Nicky Wire may never match those of Richey Edwards
The lyrics of bassist Nicky Wire may never match those of Richey Edwards, but he shows equal inventiveness in his choice of subject matter.

Recent UK number one If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next deals with the Spanish Civil War, Born A Girl is a sing-along lament for having being born a boy, while Ready For Drowning looks at the question of Welsh identity.

Most powerful of all, however, is SYMM - which stands for South Yorkshire Mass Murderer - a damning verdict on the circumstances surrounding the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

Written after seeing Jimmy McGovern's screenplay about the tragedy, it is a haunting finish to an album which more than lives up to the high expectations surrounding its release.
Nigel Packer




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