“The Girl Who Wanted to Be God” is a track from Manic Street Preachers’ album “Everything Must Go“, released in 1996. This album was their first after the disappearance of lyricist and rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards (which happened twenty years ago yesterday, if you didn’t know) though some tracks on it included lyrics that Edwards had left over – today’s track is one of them, though Nicky Wire did contribute lyrics too. I’ve personally never looked into the lyrics much though the title is also the name of a poem by the late Sylvia Plath, whose work Edwards was known to study. Take from that what you will.
Admittedly the part of the track that got me straight away were the sensational strings that give the track this elating feeling of freedom. After seconds of a choppy guitar and a meddling rhythm section that start the track off, the strings suddenly appear to play the chorus melody and I’m launched into the air and find myself soaring through the sky, faster than the speed of sound. And then James Dean Bradfield reinforces that feeling by belting out the title phrase which makes up the song’s chorus. The verses are good; they have a good melody to them. But that chorus…. some days it will pop in my head, and I can be repeating it for minutes on end.
If I were lucky enough to be a member of Manic Street Preachers in 1996, I would definitely have wanted this to be a single. Could you imagine thousands of people singing back that chorus to you at concerts? Man. Better than “Kevin Carter“, I think. Though however glorious the strings and wailing guitar may be, it still reminds me of music that should be in the background of a flight advert or the theme music to a soap opera. I really don’t know why, I just get that vibe from it.