ALBUMS OF WEEK 9 – HARD TIMES & NURSERY RHYMES / POSTCARDS FROM A YOUNG MAN

There were two albums which resulted the most prominent in my daily living last week. You know how this goes sometimes. In the morning you need a pusher to go to work, and in the afternoon you’re in a more chilling out mood.

It’s taken me the whole week to notice I haven’t yet recovered from flu properly. I totally crushed this weekend, being past Sunday one of the worst in long time, with migraine, being me completely numb as to do anything, feeling like shit for standing someone up… in essence, the mixture of several circumstances have made me realize I’m not superwoman, and that I can lose control easily. For this reason I’m not very high spirited. Guess Spring Fever is hitting me violently, and on the other hand, life reminds you on certain facts from time to time. Should be thankful after all.

All this been said, and sorry for diverting from the subject, yes, last week I definitely needed an upper, and a downer, musically speaking.

Social Distortion was the upper. True that the pathetic show I witnessed a couple of years ago here in Barcelona left such bad taste in my mouth as to avoid listening to their stuff all this time. I was really upset and disappointed! Mike Ness was suffocated after the third song and his voice completely gone. He looked tired and acted tired, and despite the fact that the audience was crazy and in the mood, the show was short and ridiculous. Perhaps many people will disagree with me, but I felt cheated. Therefore, when Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes was released in January last year, I didn’t pay much attention, although reviews were positive.

It was last week, when heading to the office in the morning, quite asleep, by the way, when I found out this album in my Ipod, and thought it was finally the right time to give it a try, and I liked it. of course it’s not White Light White Heat White Trash nor Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, and although still keeping its punk rockabilly essence its sound is neat and more polished, but still has a good bunch of songs such as California, Machine Gun Blues, which reminds me of D-Generated, or Alone and Forsaken. Well, I give Ness the credit of delivering a great album considering he’s in his 50s and has overcome personal critic situations, and yes, I love his story-telling. A good fix for starting the morning in a more active way.

A total different story was chosen for the evenings, something more relaxing, kind of nostalgic, with a point in common with the album of Social Distortion. It took me long time to purchase Postcards From a Young Man, and even worse, it’s been sealed in the CD shelf all this time, for no reason really. It’s true I’ve been recovering the earliest stuff, but never had any problem with their last albums, I simply didn’t find the right moment to listen to it, I suppose.

This album is pure Manic Street Preachers. These guys are machines of delivering great songs. It’s true they’ve evolved developed into something different they conceived their band in the beginning, but their maturity is still captivating, with their logic ups and downs, and their songs full of orchestrations and beautiful melodies, evoke great deal of nostalgia, which sometimes is much needed. (It’s not War) Just the End of Love, Postcards From a Young Man, Golden Platitudes or a Billion Balconies Facing the Sun easily win me. Thus, when a date is announced this Spring in Barcelona, I don’t ask how much the ticket is don’t care if anybody I know will also attend the show nor question whether the show will be worth, , I just don’t have any doubts, got my ticket as soon as I could, and now it’s time to wait patiently to see them in two months, no matter their planned set list for the show, I know for sure, Manic Street Preachers will rock my world that evening.

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