Manic Street Preachers

Tolerated

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Dating from a Danish radio broadcast in August 1998, Tolerated was recorded on the eve of the release of the This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours album, the first to see the band finally shrug off the spirit of the missing Ritchie, and stake their claim on the mountaintop occupied by U2, circa The Joshua Tree. It was a dubious roost, and, this early in, the band seemed aware of the fact. Having opened with the U.K. number one single "If You Tolerate This," the show proceeds through just three more new songs. But if the Manics are uncertain, the audience isn't. Throughout a very energetic and well-recorded set, a truly devoted army applauds every song, every sound, every announcement -- a display of such slavish devotion that it really does become ever so wearing as the disc plays on. Again, just like old recordings of U2. All of which means, this is an album for the real fans, not the passing curious, not the semi-committed, and certainly not anyone who still expects the rough punk fire of the Manics' previous incarnation. But if you pass those tests, you'll be sold.

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