The 47-year-old, who is a lyricist, singer and bassist with the Welsh band, has been responsible for writing some of the group's biggest hits, such as 1996 single Everything Must Go.
In a new interview promoting the reissue of the Everything Must Go album, Nicky revealed his disappointment that modern music stars have not, in his opinion, lived up to the legacy left by stars such as Madonna with their songs.
"People can talk about alternative music and I couldn't really give a f**k, but when you're young and a pop song just fills your heart, there's nothing like it," he told The Quietus. "My love of pop music is just gone. Lyrically it's inept and vacuous, and musically the generation gap's perhaps too big. But I loved my mum's f**king Demis Roussos and ABBA albums. That's the sadness, for me, of what's missing from modern pop music: that song that just fills your heart, like Into the Groove by Madonna did. You don't have to like the artist, or what they stand for, but just a song that grabs you. Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite. I just don't get that any more."
Nicky added that he'd struggle to find the last pop song that had a similar effect on him to Into the Groove. However, he cited Rihanna's 2007 hit Umbrella, which the Manic Street Preachers covered for a charity album, as a potential contender.
"I'm not saying it's all bad music, but just that shiny pop music where you'd put something on ten times in a row," he continued. "You know, more than anyone, there's always been that love of a pure pop song which runs through the Manics. A genuine affection, not for a band you like or a style you like, but be it ABBA or Glen Campbell or the f**king Wombles, there's always been that love. So when people talk about Everything Must Go being 'commercial', that's always been innately in us."