Columbia 82876861592 / 82876861582 / 82876861587: 10th July 2006
1. That’s No Way To Tell A Lie
“So we crawl from the water’s edge, returning to dip our heads again, and back to where it all began”
2. Don’t Look Back
“Sing another song, as long as the words don’t break your heart, have another drink, as long as you don’t fall down again”
3. Kodachrome Ghosts
“Pictures cling to my mind, 1980’s Christmas day, you we’re younger than I am today, now I’m here in this room, with your life on my knees, a shoe box full of memories”
4. I Never Wanted Sunshine
“I’m just taking it slow today, just waiting for the wind to change, to blow away the blue skies”
5. Lost Again
“Stretching out to a different place, I’m finding pieces of your crown, and it breaks my heart to say, I’ve looked but never found”
I’m a massive fan of Manic Street Preachers and I love pretty much everything they’ve done. I love their much maligned second album and I also love their criminally underrated last album. I’m not one of those stupid people that resent the fact that they didn’t split up after the first album like they promised. So my initial disappointment with James Dean Bradfield’s first solo single came as a surprise. But after the sixth or seventh listen of ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’ something just clicked and I loved it. The lyrics seem to be hinting at the image of Jesus rising from the dead. It nicks the shimmering Synth from ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and adds handclaps and the trademark Guitar work. But whether or not you grow to love the A-side, you’ve got to buy this release for the quality of the B-sides.
‘Don’t Look Back’ is an anguished bid to escape a past full of regret. The opening line of the Pet Shop Boy’s classic 1990 single ‘Being Boring’ was “I came across a cache of old photos” and ‘Kodachrome Ghosts’ expands this image to a whole song. His voice slips in and out of a graceful Falsetto as the pain of his memories become more acute. James’s first ever lyric ‘Ocean Spray’ was about his recently departed Mother. This is also about somebody who is gone, but it isn’t made clear whom. The Guitar solo is another James Dean Bradfield masterpiece and it’s so tear stained you can just about taste the salt. ‘I Never Wanted Sunshine’ has a fiercely angry sound that is matched by a bitter lyric. ‘Lost Again’ seems to be about James’ feelings towards God, which connects it with ‘That’s No Way To Tell A Lie’. He’s surveying the state of the world today and wondering, if God exists why doesn’t he do something.
These are songs that deal with faith, regret, loss and confusion as befits a man who has only found his voice in his late 30s. Hopefully this will come out as a 5-Track Japanese release like some of the Manic’s singles did, because these songs deserve to be heard as a whole. Only a week until the album comes out, I can’t wait.