Know Your Enemy - Manic Street Preachers
Know Your Enemy Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first album from the Manics in three years features the singles "Found That Soul" and "So Why So Sad."
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. 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.
  3. 70
    Know Your Enemy loses all its momentum when Manic Street Preachers decide that they have something to say.
  4. If 1987-era U2 is your bag, you'll dig it. [Jul 2001, p.74]
  5. When it works, this can be pretty invigorating, but when it doesn't, it's utterly maddening.
  6. 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.
  7. Nowhere amidst all the confusion is there even a worthwhile tune to be salvaged. Hideously dull.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. fabulousdisaster
    Sep 3, 2002
    10
    Although some of Nicky's lyrics are way too intelligent for me I give KYE 10 out of 10 for effort, it has some beautiful songs i.e. Let Robeson Sing and So Why So Sad [a real pop song] Not what some fans expected but there are rockier songs too like Found That Soul. I think there's something for everyone if only they'd give it a chance. I like its diversity. Expand
  2. fabulousdisaster
    Sep 3, 2002
    10
    Although some of Nicky's lyrics are way too intelligent for me I give KYE 10 out of 10 for effort, it has some beautiful songs i.e. Let Robeson Sing and So Why So Sad [a real pop song] Not what some fans expected but there are rockier songs too like Found That Soul. I think there's something for everyone if only they'd give it a chance. I like its diversity. Expand
  3. JorisV.
    Dec 10, 2004
    10
    Sorry people I don't get it, It's my favourite Manics album and one you can listen to over and over again because of the great variety of styles! From Ocean Spray to intensive rockers as Intravenous Agnostic and the great Dead Martyrs, this album is the real thing. Experimental and beautiful, a not so common combination nowadays Expand
  4. DannyM.
    Dec 20, 2001
    9
    At last an album of beliefs, hopes and dreams -dashed!. Certainly risky, definatley political. Possibly a bit too deep for some. However after a few plays I have hardly had this CD out of my player and it is now Christmas. "Baby Elian" sends a message to all of us, "Why so Sad" is just a great medley, and "Let Roebson Sing" is a beautiful political ballad. Fans should love it, rebels too but if you like poppy, happy tunes then best stick to S Club 7. A triumph for the Welsh band and their best work yet. Expand
  5. JuliaA
    Sep 15, 2006
    8
    there's nothing wrong with this album, but the thing that made it sounds bad was people are still in such a mood of 'This Is My Truth...'...you know...TIMTTMY was not a quick-paced music,so when they're back with the rocky KYE,it was a bit of 'shock therapy' for people (the critiques).this is an alright album with superb contents. but still...I gave it 8 because eventhough I'm an avid fan of every single MSP album, I can't get myself to enjoy 'Wattsville Blues' (Nicky must be drunk when he sings,it's so out of tunes) and 'So Why So Sad' (it must be the intro.that 'parapa-parapa-parapa' chants made it sounded,well,cheesy).those two songs just don't fit there. Collapse
  6. LeoW.
    Oct 28, 2001
    8
    On "Know Your Enemy" the Manics are in over their heads again. The record is over-long. There are miscues on it like "Miss Europa Disco Dancer" and "Wattsville Blues", songs which should have been reserved for b-sides. And on the evidence here, the political views of this most political of rock'n'roll bands are incoherent at best. Looking for an alternative to capitalism's excesses and the best you can come up with is Cuba? Please. So "Know Your Enemy" is a bit of a mess but all that said, for my money it?s a good mess. The way, for example, that the Beatles White Album was a good mess. Throw in everything but the kitchen sink and don't fuss about it. Enemy?s predecessor, "This Is My Truth?" was a little too neat and tidy. This album rights the balance, sonically and attitude-wise. Songs like "Found That Soul", "The Convalescent" and "Ocean Spray" are as good as any the band has produced. "Baby Elian" is a great rock and roll song ? just ignore its muddled lyrics. I even enjoyed the MSP-does-REM of "The Year of Purification". "Everything Must Go" it's not but as a set of tough songs for a tough year, it?ll do just fine. Expand
  7. JossS.
    Dec 25, 2001
    4
    is it just me or has manic street preachers sounded like they have sold out since james's disappearance.

See all 10 User Reviews