The mystique that is Manic Street Preachers continues with Show Me the Wonder, the lead single off their upcoming album Rewind The Film. The cult Welsh band is most well known for their tuneful alternative rock reminiscent of bands such as The Stone Roses, and for the mysterious disappearance of its eyeliner-wearing lyricist Richey Edwards at the age of 27.
Show Me the Wonder is about showing the wonder of love. It’s clear from the opening where a gentle acoustic guitar gives way to a chorus of trumpets that the band have moved on from their 1990s alternative rock sound. The brass particularly gets a bit overbearing as the chorus starts. It’s a shame that I am reminded of the trauma of hearing the awfully loud brass on the album mix of The Beatles’ Let It Be, as the chorus is a deceptively catchy, joyful toe-tapper. Fortunately, as the song progresses, listeners should get used to the brass. The brass then becomes an integral part of the recording, like the brass on All You Need is Love.
However, the up-tempo sound of Show Me the Wonder is undercut by cynical lines such as ‘Is heaven a place where nothing happens?’ and ‘Is it too much to ask to disbelieve in everything?’. Maybe this juxtaposition between words and music is deliberate, as the song acknowledges that people question everything and that nothing is perfect.
Listeners expecting something reminiscent of the euphoric Motorcycle Emptiness will be disappointed. However, Show Me the Wonder (at least its sound) is a fitting soundtrack to a swinging sunny day. Just don’t pay too much attention to the words.