Album review: Suede – Night Thoughts
PUBLISHED: 17:44 01 February 2016
Suede reflect on age to great effect on their latest record, but at times borrow a little too much from their past, says Alex Bellotti.
After re-discovering their penchant for anthemic, melodramatic glam-punk with 2013’s comeback album, Bloodsports, Suede confront a different issue on their latest record: age.
Best known for shaking up ‘90s indie in a whirlwind of virile heroin chic, much has been made of the fact that Suede are nearing 50. Yet singer Brett Anderson has always had a sense for domesticity; even in early records, songs about bored housewives and family accidents sat between those about sex, hormones and hallucinogens.
Still, Night Thoughts is the fullest pursuit of this theme yet. Opener When You Are Young sets the tone, with Anderson crying, ‘When you are young, there’s nothing right and nothing wrong’ over a cinematic blend of strings and swooping guitar. A sudden gear-change leads into recent single Outsiders – fun, but the most Suede-by-numbers with its soaring chorus and brazen pop structure.
Subtler treats come later in the bass-stomping lament of What I’m Trying To Tell You, while brooding ballad Tightrope again reflects on time, with Anderson ‘scared to look through my fingers’.
It’s the most honest we’ve seen him, and while some songs borrow too much from past triumphs (Like Kids shamelessly recycles the riff from 1996’s She), there’s enough original thought here to sate even the oldest of fans.
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