I don’t believe in absolutes anymore
Title tracks, be it the album having been named after them or the other way around, tend to somehow tie the album together into one song, stylistically or conceptually. As is the case with Postcards From a Young Man too. Lyrically it deals with reflecting on the past and present, much like most of the album, and musically it’s pretty much Postcards in a nutshell – big rock anthem power, strings and even a little choir appearance by the end.
It’s the first sign on the album that the band are on the right track with what they’ve been trying to achieve with Postcards the album. The song is something that could easily be ruined by the band as it is a rather typically Manicsian moment and as such falls into the danger zone of “haven’t I heard this before but done more convincingly?” – the trick is that they’re actually doing it convincingly this time. Sure it’s a bit safe perhaps but there’s some fan-heartwarming goodness when James appears on the bare-bones first verse sounding as reassuredly good as ever, and it simply sounds like the band’s in control of the whole thing. Because of that, Postcards is a gift that keeps on giving – it always sounds nicely fresh despite treading on the band’s familiar ground. It’s not stuck on a rut, it’s a realisation of why exactly it’s a comfort zone for the band. It’s one of the few songs on the album that genuinely bring back that magic feeling of the Everything Must Go material.
Favourite part: that brilliant “I will not give up, I will not give in” power mantra in the middle eight from which the song explodes to rockness again.
Chosen as the third single, the official video is a typical end-of-campaign live promo video. Most of the footage comes from the Hammersmith gig that introduced us to the song, with some footage of all the memorabilia (postcards, lyric sheets, etc) that surrounds the general visual theme of the era and some other live clips – some of which has been taken from the video for the song the band had released on their website far before, apparently just for the sake of it. Whether you like it or not entirely depends on how much you stomach live promo vids. I’m normally not a fan, but interestingly enough there’s a twist to the expected reaction: much like the song harks back to the old days successfully, so does the video. I used to watch the Forever Delayed DVD obsessively and I have a lot of nostalgic warm feelings towards their old live promo vids (Slash n Burn, Life Before a Landslide, etc). This video reminds me of them. It gives a nice, obviously biased fuzzy warm feeling for what is a bit of a non-event of a video.
Single quotes: “To read a poem in January is as lovely as to go for a walk in June” (Jean-Paul Sartre) / “There is no such thing as simple. Simple is hard.” (Martin Scorsese) / “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means of going backwards” (Aldous Huxley)