Know Your Enemy - Manic Street Preachers

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Know Your Enemy finds the Manics attempting to write a protest song in just about every genre. This project, stretched out over 16 tracks and 75 minutes, quickly reaches epic proportions, with an ambition approached only by the magnitude of its flaws.
  2. 70
    Know Your Enemy loses all its momentum when Manic Street Preachers decide that they have something to say.
  3. A bit of judicious pruning to remove the filler tracks would have resulted in a cohesive, dynamic album that would have easily been their best release to date.
  4. 70
    The record is such a sprawling, unwieldy beast that the instrumental hooks take time to emerge.
  5. While the group's last two records have been majestic, pretentious, and overly polished, this one is more urgent and inviting, running the gamut from Beach Boys whimsy to Jesus And Mary Chain bluster.
  6. When it works, this can be pretty invigorating, but when it doesn't, it's utterly maddening.
  7. Cull the arrogance, the laziness, the ill-considered ignorance, the (that word yet again) sneering, and there wouldn't be a better album than Know Your Enemy, and not just of this year. Cull the brave lyrics, the moments of inspiration, the songs to treasure and the moments of honesty and, were it available in dogfood form, you wouldn't feed Know Your Enemy to your hounds.
  8. If 1987-era U2 is your bag, you'll dig it. [Jul 2001, p.74]
  9. 60
    Know Your Enemy is a fine -- if slightly long and somewhat fractured -- primer to the moods of one of Britain's most (self) important bands
  10. Nowhere amidst all the confusion is there even a worthwhile tune to be salvaged. Hideously dull.

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