Escape from our history
The theme song of the band’s rebirth after Richey’s disappearence is a rather gorgeous track whose quality sometimes tends to be forgotten thanks to the overplaying it tends to get. When performed live this song tends to be a bit of a dullard and that’s because the relatively simple song doesn’t really work as well without the elegant string walls behind it. It’s pretty much the epitome of the orchestral rock theme that pops up here and there on Everything Must Go – Spectorian sound walls, elegance in rock music. Similarly, it’s the lyrical centrepiece of the album: following on the theme of loss and moving on, Everything Must Go is the moment where you ask forgiveness from the people around you as well as the memories of your lost ones as you finally decide to move on and try to get on with life. Ironically coming from a band who’s quite chained to their past and often even embrace that.
But, despite that, it is a great track with some fantastic musical moments scattered throughout it. A really nice set of lyrics too. It’s taken its rises and falls in popularity in my personal case but it always sounds gorgeous and refreshing if you leave it alone for a while rather than overplay it. Dubiously, it has the honour of having what is often said to be one of the weakest b-side packages in the Manics catalogue.
There’s two remixes and they’re both very predictable in the context of the band’s other remixes: the Stealth Sonic Orchestra is exactly like all the other SSO remixes, ie a chilled little lounge take, and the Chemical Brothers remix is just as shite as the other Chemical Brothers/Dust Brothers remixes of Manics tracks.
The video on the other hand is one of the band’s best. It’s very theatrical and dramatic and perhaps oozes metaphorical elements a bit too much (even if the one lone guitar at the end is a bass) but it looks nifty and works perfectly with the rather dramatic song. Plus it has the sight of Sean whacking his drum set with the most bored “why am I here” look on his face. Classic.
“Maybe I am not very human – what I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house”.
“Mute icons are the only kind of beauty we find acceptable today”