Journal For Plague Lovers

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Sep 15, 2009
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Q Magazine
    100
    By breathing life into Richey Edwards's own last words, his friends have crafted not a memorial but a celebration. [Jun 2009, p.120]
  2. Journal for Plague Lovers winds up being The Holy Bible in reverse: every moment of despair is a reason to keep on living instead of an excuse to pack it all in.
  3. Overall, Journal For Plague Lovers is a strident comeback that would have been a worthy direct successor to "The Holy Bible" had circumstances been different.
  4. Nobody who has ever had some semblance of an interest in this band should ignore Journal For Plague Lovers, which is simply far more awesome than anyone had a right to expect.
  5. Journal For Plague Lovers is an outstanding album in its own right and is not "The Holy Bible." But then again, what is?
  6. Not just a dignified salute to an absent friend, but a cracking album in its own right.
  7. So while Journal for Plague Lovers doesn’t quite match up to The Holy Bible, essentially it doesn’t need to.
  8. Forgoing the arena-rock of recent years for something close to the barbed punk of their "Holy Bible" era--though less disjointed this time, and studded with hooks you could hang a feather boa from--they've made a complex but very listenable record.
  9. 80
    This is also a brave, compelling record that stands shoulder to shoulder with the Manics’ best.
  10. This is something unique, often flawed and often flooring, and as fine and fitting a memorial for its lyricist as could be imagined.
  11. Mojo
    80
    Richey Edwards has his words set to the best music his bandmates have made since their last album together. [Jun 2009, p.97]
  12. With Journal for Plague Lovers, it feels like Manic Street Preachers have finally closed the door on a painful chapter in their career and, rather fittingly, they’ve done it with some aplomb.
  13. Even if it were the desperate or cynical move some people have claimed it is, there's no denying that purging Edwards' old lyric folder has helped the band create its best album in a decade.
  14. Filter
    78
    To date, this is as close to their masterpiece, The Holy Bible, as they've ever come. [Fall 2009, p.92]
  15. Manics mine Richey’s last words for a return to the heart of darkness.
  16. It's a shade better than Send Away The Tigers, itself heralded as a return to form, and in a year that hasn't really been anything special so far for straight-ahead rock, this is a standout.
  17. Under The Radar
    70
    Journal resurrects the hunger and desperation that was the Manics' initial driving force, and in the process gives them a sense of purpose. [Fall 2009, p.64]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Oct 23, 2014
    9
    It was always going to be a brave decision to use lyrics written by Richey Edwards on a Manic Street Preachers album once again, but the bandIt was always going to be a brave decision to use lyrics written by Richey Edwards on a Manic Street Preachers album once again, but the band pulls it off in the only way they know how; by producing an outstanding record. 30 seconds in; following a mean bassline, solid drums, a no nonsense guitar riff from James Dean Bradfield are the lyrics "the more I see, the less I scream. The figure 8 inside out is infinity". Sets the tone for the album perfectly. From then on in, almost every song is flawless. The majority with Powerful overdriven Steve Albini guitar sounds, along with huge choruses, raw energy and some of the most relevant and intellectual lyrics of the 21st century. Others such as "Facing Page: Top Left" and "William's Last Words" much more mellow. The hidden track 'Bag Lady' is also definitely worth a listen.

    For me, this has to be The Manic's best effort since The Holy Bible. Highly recommend it to anybody. (Personal Favourites: Journal For Plague Lovers, Marlon J.D, Pretension/Repulsion)
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 26, 2016
    8
    The Manic's 2000's output was generally decent, but one couldn't help but feel like they had gotten themselves stuck in a rut of poppy alt.The Manic's 2000's output was generally decent, but one couldn't help but feel like they had gotten themselves stuck in a rut of poppy alt. rock territory that lacked the edginess that albums such as Generation Terrorists and The Holy Bible had. Journal for Plague Lovers was the album the Manics had to make if they wished to remain relevant and vital for the next decade onwards. It's a fantastic blend of Richey's thoughtful lyricism and the band's natural knack for melody.

    Richey had been declared presumed deceased the previous year, despite having vanished without a trace in '95, and this album also serves as a way for the band to say their final goodbyes and once again show the world what a one-of-a-kind lyricist he was.
    Full Review »
  3. j30
    Dec 6, 2011
    7
    This is not the best album of the century or the year, but a noteworthy effort from the Welsh alternative band.