To feel forgiveness you got to forgive
And the lead single from the ‘last shot at mass communication’ sounds like… a mass communicating Manics single.
If you look at War/Love with a critical eye it’s easy to pick out the main downside to it – it just isn’t that special. In Manics terms, a bit ordinary. The sort of pop/rock song they could whack out at their sleep. An ur-ManicsWithStrings song. It even takes one step further by directly taking a page from Your Love Alone Is Not Enough – the last genuine hit they’ve had at the moment – by including an unexpected Nicky vocal cameo by the end.
But it’s got the important thing: it’s got a heart. It may be a bit ordinary in the band’s standards musically but the band sounds like they’re fully behind the song. The joy and vigour in it is genuine and it latches onto the listener. There might be some grumbling and mumbling about how it may not be that special of a song but you can’t help but sing along by the end with a huge smirk on your face. It makes the song that leaves the listener with a positive memory – that may not amount to tons when you look at the bigger picture of the band’s whole list of songs and you get the feeling that one day this would be completely forgotten if it wasn’t for its status as a single that ensures it’s always going to get referenced, but it’s enough to make the song enjoyable as it goes through the three and a half minutes that it does.
(such a shame that singing along to the song makes you just wonder if the lyrics have any point or are they just fancy sounding lines strung one after another)
One of the best things to come out from the decision to try and score a hit album as much as possible is that War/Love got a music video (linked here as Sony hates embedding) with a budget and an idea, instead of some cheap bore knocked in a few moments or a Patrick Jones video. While ultimately the one-take-wonder featuring chess, snogs and scruffy looking band members isn’t much of a standout in the band’s video catalogue (much like the song itself isn’t much of a standout in the band’s singles catalogue), it’s interesting enough to be, you know, interesting.
Single sleeve quotes: “We are all transistors in the literal sense” (Karl Heinz Stockhausen) / “One thing that success has taught me is censorship” (Tracey Emin). I’m starting to suspect Nicky just throws random quotes he likes into single covers so he has some outlet of showing what he’s found.