Excuse me, forgot where I’m from…effing London Suede.
Suede are that rare band that you can love, hate or simply tolerate, and with a new album out after 10 years of darkness, maybe it’s time to take another look and see if anything’s changed. Me, I came way late to the Suede game, with Coming Up, which I still think is an excellent pop/glam album. From there I went backwards and picked up Dog Man Star and the debut, both of which I instantly hated. I thought they sounded muddy, anemic and overly dramatic, vocally and lyrically as well as musically, to the point of it almost being funny, albeit in a sad sort of way. A couple of decent tracks on the debut, but that’s all the enthusiasm I could muster. Then, after a bit of research I found out that the first two contained a different line up than that of Coming Up. “Ah,” I thought, “I guess I prefer the current one best” and proceeded to purchase Head Music, thinking it would contain more of those edgy, well written numbers that were so abundant on Coming Up. I was wrong. Dreadfully wrong. I hated this one, too. The great Ronson-like guitars were replaced by cheesy synths and the whole thing sounded like a band playing catch-up about 4 years too late. What the hell was going on? They released another in 2002 but I, along with most of the world (home country of England included), weren’t listening. To no one’s surprise they called it a day. Apparently.
2013 and Suede casually announce they will be releasing a new album, ironically and serendipitously timed to coincide with a new Bowie album, who just happens to be their muse, their spiritual leader, their reason d’etre. Is this a coincidence? I don’t know, but I can tell you that the new Suede album beats the crap out of the new Bowie album. If Bowie’s new one is a 5 (or 6, if you’re generous) out of 10, Bloodsports is at the very least a 7, quite possibly an 8. If you hate Suede this album will do nothing to change that. If you’re ambivalent about them a few spins just might make you take notice. If you are a diehard Suede maniac, then you will absolutely adore this.
Me, I’m digging it.
While you’re at it, grab this deluxe edition of Coming Up too, if you can find it. The B Sides are even better than the original album tracks!