By Glenn Rossington
Coming like a bolt out of the blue to Manics fans, this first taster for the new acoustic record of the same name is breathtaking. Gone are the familiar rocky tendencies and growling vocals, and in comes the more subtle and tender side of the Welsh heroes.
With a song steeped in melancholia, the first and majority of the vocals are sung by Sheffield legend Richard Hawley. His style is a contrast to James Dean Bradfield who shines through on his limited appearances. The music is incredibly stripped back too, preferring to have an almost Celtic and medieval undertone, it is really refreshing to hear the Manics experimenting and feling relaxed and confident in doing so.
The orchestral lines pull the song back into familiar territory, harking back to the ‘Everything Must Go’ and ‘This Is My Truth…’ eras. At the same time it emphasises the reflective mode of the lyrics. The opening lyrics of “Rewind the film again, I’d love to see my joy my friends” show that Nicky Wire has been travelling down memory lane which is something that has been hinted at so often over the last few months. What makes this song interesting is the trivia that Nicky had written his lyrics for Richard Hawley to sing, yet James Dean Bradfield had written his verses. As with his delivery, James’ lines seem to radiate a sense of hope in the melancholia, like a ray of sunshine bursting through dark clouds.
Overall, although this isn’t a traditional single in the Manics’ catalogue, it is one of the most diverse and experimental tracks they have put out in recent years. With the promise that the first single proper ‘Show Me The Wonder’ is a mix of “Vegas Elvis and Wake Up Boo”, this forthcoming record sounds like it will be a very special and open album.