987 - Manic Street Preachers 'This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours' (1998)

My Rating: 2.31 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: X
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): 1/--

Favourite Tracks: S.Y.M.M., The Everlasting, My Little Empire
Least-Favourite Track: Nobody Loves You, Born A Girl, Be Natural

One of the problems with these all-time/top/classic lists is the way they always get unnaturally skewed towards recent releases. For example, in a 2006 poll by Virgin Radio the track voted as the best song ever (I repeat, EVER) was Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. So that makes me pretty sceptical about albums like this released round 1998-99 as that's when this edition of the all-time top 1000 was being compiled. Embrace (see album #993) was a classic example of 'fad' voting in my opinion and seeing this record was released the same year I expected more of the same, but happily this wasn't the case. In fact, this album was a lot better than I thought & succeeded in all the ways that the Embrace record failed.

I only knew the snappily-titled singles If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next & You Stole The Sun From My Heart but they aren't really that representative of the album. There's a lot of depth here - the songs are varied & can take unexpectedly melodic or dynamic turns. The arrangements are similarly creative with touches like cellos, sitars & reversed drums all added to the mix. The mellower songs tend to work better here - James Dean Bradfield's voice is not all that powerful so on the heavier tracks he either sounds a bit strained or gets drowned out (or both), but I can forgive him that as I once stood next to him & was delighted to find that he is one of the few people on the planet who is shorter than me (just). (I must also confess to admiring the band for keeping 25% of their royalties aside for missing member Richey Edwards). All in all, a pretty strong album - one that I have already listened to a few more times & only really let down by a few filler-tracks towards the end.


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