Music review: Futurology - Manic Street Preachers

With Futurology, the Manic Street Preachers are still oscillating between genius and awful.

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Futurology

Manic Street Preachers

(Columbia)

Three stars

It's more than two decades since Manic Street Preachers ­announced themselves with their occasionally brilliant debut ­album Generation Terrorists. At its best that was a combustible and ­provocative piece of post-punk, at its worst it was overproduced and almost unlistenable. Twenty-two years later, the Manics are back with their 12th studio album and still oscillating between ­genius and awful. Futurology opens with its title track, which is full of the kind of everyman lyrics and epic guitar treatments that have become their trademark. Walk Me to the Bridge follows the title track. It's the album's lead single but sounds like early-album filler. It gives way to the ill-advised Let's Go To War and the equally awful The Next Jet to Leave for Moscow. From there the album warms up nicely, showcasing quirky collaborations (Europa Geht Durch Mich featuring the German actress Nina Hoss and Between the Clock and the Bed featuring the British pop band Scritti Politti's frontman Green Gartside are both standouts here) and future classics such as Black Square and The View from Stow Hill. It's good, but far from perfect.

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