Pretension/Repulsion

Album: Journal For Plague Lovers (2009)
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Songfacts®:

  • Vocalist James Dean Bradfield told the NME May 16, 2009 that this song, which mentions the 1814 painting Une Odalisque by the French neo-classical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, "talks about the idealisation of beauty, or what is ugliness."
  • This song follows on from "All Is Vanity," which is about narcissism. Bradfield told the NME: "I love the way that 'All Is Vanity' deals with one issue and 'Pretension/Repulsion' seems to resolve it for me. In a strange, kind of twisted way. 'Pretension/Repulsion' could pretty much be another song that just said 'I have no judgment in my eye, I cannot behold anything.'"
  • Like all the other songs on Journal For Plague Lovers album this track originated from words that Manic's former guitarist Richey Edwards left in a notebook shortly before he disappeared.
  • Bassist Nicky Wire commented to the NME: "It's one of the greatest rock couplets ever: 'Shards, oh shards, the androgyny fails/Oadlisque by Ingres, extra bones for sale'. That's never gonna appear by anyone else. It shouldn't work, but it does. I just bow down at the altar of that as a lyric."

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