The second album by the the Band of Holy Joy saw the band move from Flim Flam to major U.K. independent label Rough Trade. Main music writer Max left the band, leaving much of the composing to Big John. The emotions still swirled and swooned as on their previous album More Tales From the City, but the music and production is smoother and more accomplished. Undoubtedly the highlight is "What the Moon Saw" where soaring violins crescendo as the starstruck lover's world comes crashing down. Although filled with melancholy and desperation -- "Baubles, Bangles, Emotional Tangles" relates the story of becoming pregnant but not by the one she loves -- the Holy Joy also describe the feeling of rapture, whether that's making a new start with a loved one, "Bride," or the title track "Manic, Magic, Majestic," where possessions take second place to the happy-go-lucky charm of the heroine. On releasing the single "Tactless," the video filmed the band performing in an out-of-season seaside resort, which sums up this album very nicely.
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AllMusic Review by Christian Smillie