The Love of Richard Nixon [DVD]
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Average customer rating:
3.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : B00061S0BO
Manufacturer : Sony|
Release data : 18 October, 2004
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A selection of product reviews
A Cursory Review of History
I like the song and think the offbeat subject matter is interesting. The previous reviewer's comments regarding Nixon and Clinton are the reader's digest versions, with no context whatsoever to the events described. They, of course, fall in line EXACTLY with what so many others-those who haven't ever read any in-depth books about the subjects alluded to-have to say. It's frustrating to read such facile interpretations of what were extremely complex issues, the kind that can't be explained away in a sentence or two. Of course, the review is supposed to be of a song and not the subject matter, but the reviewer couldn't refrain from sharing his half-baked opinions. Few things are more unenlightening than oversimplified conventional thinking. So you think Clinton should have waited for the U.N.'s approval before taking action in Kosovo? He should have let the slaughter continue merely because the U.N., as usual, didn't act decisively when decisive action was called for? Yet the reviewer blames Clinton for what happened in Rwanda even though, according to his criteria for when action should be taken, the U.N. should have been the leaders of any intervention. Nixon is the most maligned political leader of modern times and generally is criticized by people who know little about the specifics of what he actually did as POTUS. Stone actually dared to humanize him? Few people have been more human, in all their strengths, flaws, and complexities. Nixon and Clinton remain fascinating because they are such paradoxes. Sorry to make comments that have little to do with the song, much as the previous reviewer did, but hackneyed ideas always rankle me.
But getting back to the song: I thought it had a hypnotic, smooth groove that stands up well to repeated listenings, and the lyrics only added to this listener's enjoyment.
Nice video, good song
I'll have to disagree with the harsh ratings of the "number one reviewer" and give the Manics four stars here. Of course they can be held to a lot of things like not being so good as the were say early-nineties but I wouldn't say that this is a bad record. It's a very mellow sound and on a complete tangent from anything the Manics have done before. And it's a good change. I like it. More so than say This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours. The Manic Street Preachers are still making music and that's what counts. It's not so rebellious but it has a trace which is always good. It also has a distinct new style for the Manics: bringing in a melodic synth for rhythm. This gives some flow to the song, James Dean Bradfield's vocals soaring over the music. It's not incredible but it's definitely something.
Good video, and a grower of a song
The Love of Richard Nixon has a good video, and the song has grown on me after hearing it in its proper context on the excellent Lifeblood album.
The video is cinematic, beautifully shot, and it fits the feel of the song perfectly. Musically, the song is subtle, slow and strange. James Dean Bradfield's voice is low and subdued, if that can be believed, and his guitar solo towards the end of the song is excellent. However, musically I think the song doesn't really work as a single and it only really comes into its own in the context of the album. Regarding the concept, I could write a wordy thesis looking at the geopolitical implications of the song, but the I would be taking my pop music *way* too seriously. Instead, I could choose to enjoy the sentiment behind this song, enjoy its defiant message, and feel thankful that this band haven't decided to follow the Chris Martin/Thom Yorke School of Obvious Liberal Platitudes in Rock.
The message of this song is simple and valid. It's a challenge to the lazy assumptions people make, a simple appeal for a more nuanced view of the world, mixed in with a good bit of wilful perversity to keep the chatterers chattering. Anyone who sees this as a genuine attempt to rehabilitate Nixon is taking this way too literally. Nicky Wire recently, somewhat pompously, illustrated the difference between the Manics and Radiohead by comparing them with Nixon and Kennedy, but I don't like that comparison. If bands were comedians, the Manic Street Preachers would be Bill Hicks (couragious, never afraid to upset people, sometimes wilfully perverse but full of passion and, in the end, often spot-on) and Radiohead would be Ben Elton (um...)