Suede [The London]/Suede


Suede

Suede (re-named The London Suede in the United States) are an English alternative rock band, cited as kick starting the Britpop movement, and reinventing English rock music. Through their several incarnations, they were able to consistently put out albums that charted well, while still holding the respect of critics. Although they never achieved great success in North America, they are considered by some to be one of the most important and influential British rock bands of the 90’s.

Hailed as “The Best New Band in Britain” in 1992, Suede broke into the British music scene and soon attracted the attention of the British music press. The following year their debut album, Suede (1993) went to the top of the charts and became the fastest-selling debut album in almost ten years, winning the Mercury Prize. Suede achieved further critical success with follow up Dog Man Star (1994), which at the time was seen as being out of step with other popular bands at the time. The record was overshadowed by the sudden departure of guitarist Bernard Butler before the albums release. This affected its sales and Suede were soon being dismissed by the British music press.

In 1996 following the recruitment of Butler’s replacement Richard Oakes and Neil Codling, Suede went on to greater commercial success in the UK, mainland Europe and Asia with Coming Up. The album charted at number one, producing five top ten singles and became their biggest selling album worldwide. After the release of Suede’s complilation Sci-Fi Lullabies (1997), lead singer Brett Anderson became addicted to crack and heroin. Despite problems within the band, Suede’s fourth album Head Music (1999) went to number one, however it divided fans and critics and lead to rumours that Suede would disband.

Suede’s final album, A New Morning (2002), the band’s first album to be released after the collapse of Nude Records, was a commercial disappointment and in 2003, after the release of their Singles compilation, Suede disbanded. In 2004, after a nine year hiatus, Anderson reunited with Butler to form The Tears, who released their only album in 2005. After much speculation Suede reformed in 2010, featuring the lineup from the Coming UpHead Music era.

So Young—-Beginning with nice bombastic drums, it is not long before we are treated to the remarkably unique vocals of Anderson…there has never been a vocalist like this. The guitars are fuzzy and the vocal/lyrical delivery makes you sit back and take pause. These are life lessons delivered with finesse and quality. Almost impossible to believe that this was a debut release!!! The piano that is intermixed throughout the song gives it a nice depth and emotion. This is remarkable…even all of these years on.

Animal Nitrate—-Coming out of the fog, you know from the opening refrains of this song that it is going to be something rather magnificent. trust me…this does not let you down. The chorus is a huge impassioned plea that makes you so excited you feel your body leave your skin as you lose yourself in the sheer joy of the song. this is almost beyond description…the saviours of modern-day rock music, this isn’t a disappointment.

She’s Not Dead—-I have always loved this band when they were at their most introspective best…this is a prime example of this. Anderson delivers a high-pitched vocal that is almost beyond comprehension. The emotion that comes across will rip your heart out and flings it across the room. I could never dream this import from the UK could be so important to me…they remain heroes of mine…despite the ugliness and the despair, there is joy and renewal in this visitation. Brilliant!!!

Moving—-When the drums begin the track, you know this is not to be a sedate and laid back delivery. this is manic and you wonder how Brett manages to fit so many words into one line so quickly….just as quickly, the song settles and becomes sedate only to explode once again into a splendid almost punk rock delivery that only makes your face open into a wide grin. This is brilliant…the energy, the fortitude and the genuity lives on even into 2010. Magnificent!!!

Pantomime Horse—-This is a huge atmospheric track that is rather sedate and full of all kinds of emotion. Brett delivers his by now familiar clear and unique vocal that just screams for love and belonging. the music is an almost psychedelic journey through the belly of shoe gaze music that inspired the lowest of the low to allow a smile here and there. The noise and fuzziness of the guitars were brand new at the time and it created a buzz all over the world. This is exquisite…experimental, comfortable and a statement for the future of British music. Wow!!

The Drowners—-Again, heavy on drums and aggressive guitars the song at the same time has a remarkable sense of melody that runs through out the under belly. When Brett enters with the vocal, the melody is set firmly in place despite the brilliant underlying guitars. This is a joyful, exquisitely delivered vocal that makes you almost lose control of your very senses. Remarkably composed and even better delivery results in one of those songs that lives on and on based simply on the majesty of it all. this is genius!!!

Sleeping Pills—-Excellent!!!! It is hard to find the proper words that can properly urge you to seek out this release and truly relish in the pure emotional delivery that this band made. This is a moment caught in history…you can not escape the words and the emotions of Anderson as he urges one to dig their way out of the depths of the depression that cripples the very existence of their self. The accompanying music only adds to the desperate feel of the song…you pratically beg, alongside Anderson…as you hope this will save a life and brighten a future. This will leave you exhausted and only wanting more. Brilliant!!!

Breakdown—-Again, we are subjected to the more sedate side of the band as the song takes on another journey into the underbelly of the suffering of the human psyche. This is sedate, introspective and full of naked emotion. You examine the lyrics, alarmed that you relate to the sufferings of other human beings…yet finding a comfortability in the fact. You are entrenched in the emotion and you grow as a person…because music matters!!!!

Metal Mickey—-Returning to full rock out glory, the band displays layers and layers of sound as Brett enters with the trademark vocal that makes you feel as if you have come home from a long trip. The melody that runs through the song will settle in your cerebellum for days and take over your ability to think and function without the remnants of the song resurfacing from time to time. This is magnificent Rock that is full of fuzzy guitars, remarkable drums, a vocal style like none other and a lyrical commentary that will have you thinking for many days after a brief glimpse of the song. That is what it is all about people!!!

Animal Lover—-Full of aggressive guitar chords and a remarkable drum track, this song begins at full tilt. Anderson begins with a deeper vocal that is surprisingly but fits the tone of the song remarkably well. When Brett slips into his falsetto, you are blown away by the vocal dexterity. This is magnificent…you could never ask for more…this is a never aging piece of musical history…the Brits have it going on!!!

The Next Life—-Set to a beautiful piano, Anderson enters with a clear and soaring vocal that just makes you very soul smile. You are able to lose yourself in the gentle delivery of emotion that wraps around you like loving arms and makes you yearn for them if you are minus them. This is exquisite…..gentle, loving and full of every emotion you wish were a part of your everday life….wonderful!!!

****1/2 out of 5

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