Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Welsh Wednesday #31

#31: Which Way To Kyffin by James Dean Bradfield

Following megastardom during the Britpop years, the Manic Street Preachers struggled to maintain their momentum into the new Millennium. 'Know Your Enemy' in 2001 was patchy at best, while 'Lifeblood', released in 2004, was pretty much panned by fans and critics alike. In the period between 'Lifeblood' and the next Manics record 'Send Away The Tigers', the band concentrated on non-Manics projects with Nicky Wire and James Dean Bradfield both recording solo records.

Bradfield's effort 'The Great Western' gave him the opportunity to sing his own words rather than those penned by bandmates. It revealed a rather sensitive side to the guy as well as showing he was more than capable of holding his own should the unthinkable ever happen and *gasp* the Manics split up! No, that just can't happen, I apologise for even considering such an absurd idea.

Anyway, it was a decent album, though very much not a Manics record. Which Way To Kyffin was the album closer and for me is the standout track. It begins sounding like Laurie Anderson's O Superman, but turns into a delicate ode to Welsh painter Sir Kyffin Williams who passed away earlier that year (2006).

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