Manic Street Preachers – (It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love
It’s been almost 20 years since the Manics unleashed their distinct brand of politically driven rock with debut album Generation Terrorists. Since then their career has seen them take various musical and lyrical directions, but have always maintained their position at the top table of modern rock music.
Now, with the release of their tenth studio album imminent, new single ‘(It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love’ shows exactly why the Manics have been so enduring.
If previous album Journal For Plague Lovers had the Manics revisiting the angsty, politically charged days of The Holy Bible, then it appears new album Postcards From A Young Man draws more from the epic orchestral arrangements and massive choruses they deployed to great effect on Everything Must Go.
The sweeping strings and sky-scraping chorus make ‘It’s Not War…’ a radio friendly crowd pleaser; and while it may feel a bit too lightweight for a lot of Manics diehards, it should get a lot of casual observers interested and excited about their new album.
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Paul Weller – Fast Car/Slow Traffic / Andromeda
The Manics aren’t the only musical royalty releasing a new single this week. Fresh from his Mercury nomination for latest album Wake Up The Nation, the Modfather releases not one but two choice cuts from it – both of which perfectly encapsulate exactly why the album has had such critical and commercial success.
‘Fast Car/Slow Traffic’, with its frantic riffs and punky sentiments showcases the angry, rabble-rousing attitude of the album while ‘Andromeda’ reminds us all that Weller is also a master at crafting beautiful pop songs.
Big Boi – Follow Us
He was one half of one of the most successful rap duo’s of all time; but with the release of debut solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty earlier this year Outkast’s Big Boi became a hip-hop star in his own right.
Featuring the laid back but compelling rhymes that characterise the album, ‘Follow Us’ also incorporates a powerful and catchy chorus courtesy of rock/hip-hop band Vonnegutt to create an effective pop song that is bursting with ideas.
Now that the label wrangling that plagued the release of Sir Lucious Left Foot… is behind him, we can look forward to more inventive and eclectic hip-hop from the ex-Outkast man.
Example – Last Ones Standing
After cracking the mainstream with dance-pop mega hit ‘Kickstarts’, London rapper Example looks to consolidate his position at the business end of the singles charts with new single ‘Last Ones Standing’, taken from second album Won’t Go Quietly.
Last Ones Standing is not as immediate as his breakthrough hit, preferring subtler textures of synths and beats to the more routine dance-pop of ‘Kickstarts’ – but even though it might differ in scope, ‘Last Ones Standing’ is just as infectious. After the initial flash of synths has made an impression, Example’s soft rapping calms things down before the song launches into another massive chorus that should strengthen Example’s claims to Calvin Harris’s electro-pop crown.