As a Manic Street Preachers fan,I recently read this article - Are You A Richey James Romantic Or A Nicky Wire Socialist? concerning the two lyricists of the band. Now if you know the band, then the songwriters of the band are much more than just the people who write some words for the music ; they often dictate the whole image and mood of the band during each era and consequently the fans they attract.
I think it’s a bit wrong of this article to categorise ALL fans into two groups. I for one, along with most fans, would admit to liking both lyricist’s words. You can’t discount one at the face of the other. Both have had their amazing moments (“Faster” and “Design For Life” respectively) and also bad ones (some of the over the top filler on first album Generation Terrorists to name but a few).
Personally, I like both because of their differences, not in spite of them. Richey’s lyrics tend to be more outward looking (particularly on The Holy Bible) preoccupied with the faults of the world and obviously explicit social and political comments, more like poems than songs. Nicky’s on the other hand, are more introspective,inward looking without being self centered - easily recognisable as songs. I find Richey’s lyrics often more angry and claustrophobic,but Nicky’s are more reflective and open - breathing space for the listener as well as JDB. I like to think most people are capable of experiencing both kinds of emotion and so can appreciate both.
Yes,it is true that Nicky has had more lyrical misfires than Richey, but he’s been around for the last 15 years. Richey hasn’t. We should be grateful that he took on the position as lyricist, or we wouldn’t be having this discussion now.