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Album Review

by Suede

Warner Music

Review Date
22nd May 2013
Reviewed by
Janine Harrison

There's been quite a Britpop renaissance happening over the past two years. Indie bands that were huge in the 90s who either exploded in acrimonious circumstances or simply became irrelevant and disappeared have seemingly buried old grudges or found their inspiration once more. Suede fit nicely into the irrelevant group; once a controversial and influential band they survived the loss of Brett Butler but seemed to run out of steam and ideas in the early 2000s.

I was apprehensive of their comeback having been a massive fan in the early years only to lose interest around the time it seemed the band had too. How has the then androgynous poetic Brett Anderson changed with time and a successful stint in rehab? What does 2013 Suede have to offer to the music world?

Well, quite a lot it seems. Lead single 'Barriers' showed that revisiting the past was never their plan. Bloodsports may sound like the true follow up to 1994’s acclaimed album Dog Man Star steeped in moody yet glorious rock anthems as it is, but this is no retrospective money grabbing comeback.

The album is written as a love affair from romantic beginnings to the inevitable wretched break up. And it is the stirrings of a new romance that finds Suede at their best. Opening track 'Barriers' is overblown but not overplayed, and 'Snowblind' has the most epic guitar solo this side of the Manic Street Preachers.

'It Starts and Ends with You' might sound eerily like their 1994 hit, 'New Generation' but is so exuberant in its delivery that it doesn’t really matter, and 'Hit Me might' just be the best indie anthem of the year. With such lyrics as “You feel my pulse and we become one” and the chorus “Come on and hit me with your majesty” and Brett's voice hitting every high note with glee, this is joy personified.

The album sadly loses its mojo in the second half as the deterioration of the relationship sets in. In particular 'For the Strangers' meanders aimlessly without really reaching its destination and 'What Are You Not Telling Me?' is uncomfortable faux Pink Floyd-esque nonsense.

But for the whole this is a great comeback album. It’s unmistakably Suede - the exciting glamorous version - and it should appeal to those outside the hardcore nostalgic fan base. The album exudes a sense of urgency, a sign that the reformed Suede is a force to be reckoned with once more.


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