Manic Street Preachers’ 14th studio album Ultra Vivid Lament has become the number one selling album in Britain.
It’s a remarkable achievement. They are a band who have held on to their art and vision in a music industry that demands tight control.
The Manics are still the Manics and are still very much for real.
They’ve described this latest album as like “The Clash playing Abba.” But this is still rock music. The songs may be written on a piano, but the guitars and drums are still central.
It seems like James Dean Bradfield could write a catchy tune to any lyric presented to him.
The Manics can sing about art, architecture, poetry, alienation, grief, politics and feelings and present them in a musical package made for stadiums and arenas.
They do not hide their views. This time they sing, “Don’t let the boys from Eton suggest that we are beaten.”