I understand but I can’t accept
With all that famous sloganeering back in the band’s early days about being a band who would never write a love song, exploring the very early demos sure is funny. So much love songs or songs that are almost like love songs amongs all the teenage politics. Take Just Can’t Be Happy as an example. The full line that the song takes its title from is “just can’t be happy without you”, while the lyrics describe a beautiful girl with hazel hair who’s a very troubled individual but who the narrator is completely smitten with. Aww.
The most striking feature of this better-than-most-of-the-early-demos-which-isn’t-saying-much-I-know song is James’ speak-singing in the verses. That sort of non-melodic, deadpan delivery went on to become Nicky’s trademark style in the Manics discography (until his solo career and arisal of the songbird Nicky) – think of Groundhog Days or Failure Bound – but here you have James doing it at the very beginning of the band’s journey. There’s something very cute in the way his accent shines through.
Also features an ooh-ooh bridge, a ridiculously simple chorus and a hyperactive tambourine.
More bubblegum punk from the early Manics, that is.