I Killed The Zeitgeist
The second member of the Manic Street Preachers to go solo, after James Dean Bradfield, the man born Nicholas Allen Jones has been the band's principal songwriter for the last decade. It's not the end of the group though; Bradfield announced at V Festival that they would be returning in 2007 with new material.
Whenever a non-vocalist band member releases a solo record, there is a degree of apprehension toward how they will perform on vocal duties - surely if they were a good singer they'd be doing it for their band. Wire has a rough tone that may not be to everyone's liking, but he knows his limits and cleverly blends it with music that suits - the laidback "Withdraw Retreat" being a good example of this. Many of the tracks are not that far removed from the Manics' sound, with the melodic title track featuring a rousing climax that is abruptly halted and "Break My Heart Slowly" being a charming acoustic number with touches of electro.
The main downfall of this album is that at no point does it ever really grab a listener's full attention, which is a shame because there isn't a bad track to be found. The organic sound of "Goodbye Suicide" and instrumental "Sensucht" are decent, but it is "Stab Yr Heart" that stands out as the essential track. Wire had produced a consistent collection of songs that show why the Manics have had so many hits, but without the input of the other members they lose the chemistry that has made the band so successful.