thu 18/07/2024

CD: Suede - Bloodsports | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Suede - Bloodsports

CD: Suede - Bloodsports

Britpop's anticipators return, armed with tunes and ready

Suede, enigmatic and sexy, if you like that sort of thing

You will have to excuse my solipsism but I can find no way into this review without my own preoccupations butting rudely in. Music journalists sometimes end up reviewing albums utterly disconnected to their own interests, background and musical tastes. Some overcome this with ease, finding their inner dispassionate judge, while others find a meaty angle that adheres closely to their own perspectives, then pile in. I am closer in tone to the latter.

However, it would be unfair and boring to play that game with Suede.

I don’t like them and never have, yet they were ahead of the pack, a vanguard to that mid-‘Nineties British retro guitar explosion the mainstream music press used to masturbate over so frantically. My view at the time was that Suede were a yelping Bowie mosquito humming unnoticed around the peripheral fringes of a populace high on beats-per-minute, a country too busy raving to pay much attention to what a few journos were writing about a scene in Camden.

They had something, though, and they still do. It galls me to say so. Their new album - only their sixth and their first in over a decade – is strong. It opens slowly and not entirely convincingly but by the fourth song, “Sabotage”, with its epic squall of bell-like, melodic guitars, they’re doing their thing with aplomb. The band’s louche, iconic singer Brett Anderson is in good voice, his tones cracking into an emotive falsetto during “Hit Me”, and his lyrical pith intact on lines such as “I need you more than you need to be needed so I sign my will one stab at a time” (from “Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away”). Even the slowies have class, especially the crooning atmospheric “Always” and piano-led “What Are You Not Telling Me?” Unfortunately, their sound brings out a negative knee-jerk reaction deep within my brain, but if you even vaguely like Suede, ignore this writer, they’re on form and you should check out Bloodsports.

Watch the video for "Barriers"

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