• Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: Sep 15, 2009
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 64
  2. Negative: 2 out of 64

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  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 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 8It 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)
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  2. AveryB
    May 26, 2009
    10
    Goosebump-inducing for devoted fans and the uninitiated alike. Richie's lyrics are both chilling and (strangely enough) life-affirming, and the band seems to be "together" again, each piece of the puzzle falling perfectly into place. With this record, the band delivers a long-overdue eulogy to Richie, while delivering an early eulogy to the first decade of the 2000s.
  3. JimS
    May 20, 2009
    10
    Stands with "The Holy Bible" and "Everything Must Go" as a sort of trilogy about Richey James' disappearance and the emotional toll it took on the band. This is a triumph and best album I've heard this year.
  4. SteF
    May 19, 2009
    10
    I had forgotten how much I missed Richey. This is a strangely beautiful album.
  5. JuliaA
    May 22, 2009
    9
    Not the kind of album you'd be hooked on by first spin, but then again,good things do come with long process,same thing applied in comprehending this album.
  6. ChristopherG
    Jun 2, 2009
    10
    Well, here it is. The Manics have finally created a worthy follow-up to 1994's The Holy Bible. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the Manics' recorded output, including 2001's Know Your Enemy, which was critically lambasted, as was 2004's Lifeblood, both of which are excellently crafted and highly enjoyable rock and pop records, respectively. However, their Well, here it is. The Manics have finally created a worthy follow-up to 1994's The Holy Bible. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the Manics' recorded output, including 2001's Know Your Enemy, which was critically lambasted, as was 2004's Lifeblood, both of which are excellently crafted and highly enjoyable rock and pop records, respectively. However, their greatest achievement until now was the dark and mezmerizing 1994 masterpiece, The Holy Bible. Excellent melodies, disturbing yet poetic lyrics, and guitar virtuosity abound, making this the most memorable document of "the Richey years." Now, James, Nicky, and Sean have finally re-opened Richey's folder of lyrics after he has been gone for these 14 years. The result is the greatest album to be released this decade. All of the hallmarks of The Holy Bible are there: reversed Rs on the cover, Jenny Saville artwork, Richey's tormented lyrics, abrasive guitar riffs and fills, as well as JDB's half-shouted, half-sung vocals (yet always melodic). As I have already said, I think this album is the greatest album of the decade and an even bigger step-up from 2007's Send Away The Tigers. Bottom Line: If you are a fan of music, you need this album. Standout Tracks: Peeled Apples, Jackie Collins Existential Question Time, This Joke Sport Severed, Marlon JD, All Is Vanity, Virginia State Epileptic Colony, William's Last Words / (Bag Lady). Expand
  7. NielsB
    May 19, 2009
    9
    It's raw, energetic and more rock than most "new" bands that come out these days.
  8. markw
    May 25, 2009
    10
    Incredibly good album from a band that should be revered as one of the most ambitious, talented and brilliant of the last 20 years.
  9. Emili
    Jun 6, 2009
    10
    Fantastic album, back to the good old days. Forget about their recent stuff.
  10. MarkA.
    Sep 22, 2009
    7
    Backspacer is a winner. Great cd by one of the greatest bands of alltime.
  11. Nov 11, 2010
    10
    This is my first MSP album, and I have to think it will be hard for them to top this. The first go through I didn't think much of it, decent songs but nothing memorable. Well it really catches on and I find every song has something worth hearing in it, no filler material in here.
  12. Apr 25, 2011
    9
    This album just gets better and better the more you listen to it.
    I think this album will be considered a rock classic in years to come - a cult classic up there with the Holy Bible. The songs are so diverse and emotionally raw. Awesome album.
  13. May 20, 2011
    10
    Well... where do I start? The 9th album by the Manics is 14 songs of rock heaven, in my opinion there best album to date with Send away the tigers in 2nd and everything must go in 3rd. The reason for this is that every song seems to have so much efffort into them, each song has great music, great singing from JDB and of course great lyrics from Richey Edwards. The Holy Bible has greatWell... where do I start? The 9th album by the Manics is 14 songs of rock heaven, in my opinion there best album to date with Send away the tigers in 2nd and everything must go in 3rd. The reason for this is that every song seems to have so much efffort into them, each song has great music, great singing from JDB and of course great lyrics from Richey Edwards. The Holy Bible has great lyrics from Richey Edwards but the music doesnt support them but this type the music does. ITS BRILLIANT. Expand
  14. 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.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 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.
  2. Manics mine Richey’s last words for a return to the heart of darkness.
  3. Disjointed, imperfect, tender and raw, at the final reckoning it sits as a fitting epitaph.