Released on: Know Your Enemy (Album #6) Epic Records, 19 March 2001
Full-band Manics numbers don’t come a lot simpler than ‘His Last Painting’, a very straightforward effort that is possibly the closest thing on Know Your Enemy to filler. The basic KYE setup of guitar, bass, drums, and organ play out a fairly subdued sound which matches the song’s themes of confusion and exhaustion, broken up only by a couple of brief Bradfield solos. Given the title – another of the several references to art on the album – it could be that the song is about the feelings of an artist reaching the end of his or her career or life, but the lyrics are too vague to allow for any precise judgements.
Most songs on Know Your Enemy are significant and stand out because they are either very strange, unusually heavy (at least for middle-period Manics) or a combination of both. ‘His Last Painting’, by contrast, is one of the few songs on the record which is neither and so feels very unremarkable in context. It’s pleasant enough, though, both in isolation and as a small breather of sorts before some of the more epic excursions still to come on the album’s second half.
Choice Lyric (Full Lyrics)
“I can’t see right from my wrong / I’ve loved so much that I can’t go on”
Apostle – from the Greek for “one who is sent away”, usually meaning an ambassador or emissary of some kind. In Christianity, twelve apostles are believed to have been dispatched by Jesus after his resurrection for the purpose of spreading his teachings around the world.