Manic Street Preachers: Forever Delayed [DVD]

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Continuously switching guises between progressive social commentators and mainstream AOR songsters, the Manic Street Preachers have always had a love-hate relationship with both music critics and the record-buying public. Forever Delayed visually highlights this dichotomy, as well as exposing their contradictory stance towards capitalism. Dependent on the free market to disseminate their material to the masses but at the same time deeply aware of the inequalities it causes, the group has continuously tried to achieve a balance between the political and popular. The videos express these paradoxes, with production usually falling into one of two categories: the in-yer-face political promos (Little Baby Nothing, So Why So Dad?), and the everyday (Found That Soul, Ocean Spray). Sadly, despite their riotous intentions, the videos made up of live concert material (Life Becoming a Landslide, The Masses Against the Classes) sit in the latter category, primarily because of their predictability. Matching the style and typeface of their release artwork, one of the groups long-standing favourite video techniques for their more politically inclined releases has been the incorporation of critical slogans and quotes. From You Love Us to 1999s Tsunami, sublime and usually incomprehensible messages are flashed on the screen. Whether these are radical anti-capitalist messages or pretentious stylistic techniques to sell more records is unclear. It seems the jury remains out on the real motivations behind both these videos and the band itself. On the DVD: Forever Delayed features all 30 of the bands videos, from Motown Junk (1990) to There by the Grace of God (2002), plus 14 bonus remixes, a discography and photo gallery. All of the audio material is presented in either Dolby stereo or the more wholesome 5.1 surround format. Even the remix tracks have accompanying visual material, usually made up of clips from the original video, rare footage, and photographs of the band. The menus follow the design and typeface of the album artwork, making them stylish but at times difficult to read. The icons and on-screen track listing are also complicated to access.

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