Not that I was complaining. I loved both of those albums, but they were a bit streamlined compared to an effort like Know Your Enemy, where some real experimentation was going on. Some bands experiment and it doesn't pan out so well (see Oasis). Some bands experiment and strike gold, as with Know Your Enemy.
But after Lifeblood, the band surprised by doing a 180 and releasing Send Away The Tigers. Definitely a "transition" album for them. It had some strong tunes on it, but overall it felt just the tiniest bit forced. Still, it was an enjoyable listen and definitely a comeback after Lifeblood - again, big fan here, but it disappointed in the mainstream.
But now, Manics are going through a particularly fertile songwriting period. They've released three albums since 2007 - Send Away The Tigers, Journal for Plague Lovers (yeah yeah, lyrics by Richey, I know), and only a year and a half later, Postcards From A Young Man. All of the albums are high quality, and they are really the only remaining Britpop-type band I can think of which releases strong efforts year in and year out.
This particular video I'm linking to above, is for a song to which I'm currently addicted. I can't get enough of this song - at first I hated it due to the mandola intro, but now, I love it.
This article at a song-by-song Manics blog says it all:
I Think I Found It is one of the most memorable and remarkable on Postcards From a Young Man. It’s a breezy, light tune with an irresistable energy, and the joy is there from the very basics of the song’s core and writing. I particularly love the punctuation DUN-DUNNNs on the second verse that somehow hammer down the core positivity of “I think I found it” and “I think I love it”. To support the song’s feel even further, I Think I Found It marks the Manics debut of the mandola (played by Bradders himself) whose light, glimmering sparkle sounds better than any guitar could.I hope the Manics continue to release music every couple of years, because quality is never affected by a short absence from the Welsh trio.