Monday, March 11, 2013

Suede: "Bloodsports" (album review)

It's amazes me that I didn't really know how much I missed Suede until I began listening to the new album Bloodsport (out March 19th).

This is the band's first record in more than a decade, and everything you've come to expect is there: the slick hooks, those big Brit pop guitars, Brett Anderson's unmistakable vocals. Well almost everything as, sadly founding guitarist Bernard Butler is still missing from the equation.

It's a quick return to form with "Barriers", the majestic skyrocketing first single from the record.  The grand catchy glam hooks continue with "It Starts and Ends With You" and the highly-polished "Hit Me".

Apparently, even Suede can go retro, as we discover with the '80s New Romantic-inspired "Snowblind".

A darkness creeps over the album with "Sabotage".  It's the most successful down tempo track on the record, with others like "Always" and the closer "Faultlines" sounding as though the band were not completely motivated during their creation.

Clocking in at a hair under forty minutes, Bloodsports, is a taut, no frills comeback record.  Suede seem to be taking their time to methodically find their groove again.  That delivers most of what fans are hoping for.  At times you wish they would take bolder steps, but with eleven years of rust to shake off it's easy to understand how the band could be gun shy.

Best tracks: "Barriers", "Hit Me"

Track listing for Bloodsports:
  • Barriers
  • Snowblind
  • It Starts and Ends With You
  • Sabotage
  • For the Strangers
  • Hit Me
  • What Are You Not Telling Me?
  • Always
  • Faultlines

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