Night Thoughts

Written by: HES on 16/03/2016 12:21:04

Formed in 1989, Suede is just about as old as I am. Since then the band has done everything from winning “Best Band in Britain” to dealing with vocalist Brett Anderson actually being addicted to crack and heroin. Band members have also come and gone, in 2002 the band completely disbanded to reunite in 2010, releasing the album “Bloodsports”, their 6th studio album, granting them a spot once again in the UK Top 10, but not in any way taking the band to their prime of the 1990’s and the iconic hit “Beautiful Ones”. The new “Night Thoughts” is the 7th installation from Suede - following another long hiatus of six years.

The sound of “Night Thoughts” is intrinsically cinematic, supported by a short film by director Roger Sargent. The opening track "When You Are Young" is juxtapositioned to the closer "When You Were Young", with a general theme soaking through most of the remaining tracks. The theme is vaguely reminiscent of the grandiose - yet folksy opener of the TV-series “Game of Thrones”, but rather in symphonic version, littered with violins and kettledrums - classic symphonic instruments. As the opener and closer also suggests, the themes of “Night Thoughts” are just as grandiose as the musical universe: Questions of aging, of mortality, questions of meaning: “How long will it take to break, the plans that I never make? Too long I sat outside and smoked. I know all the neighbours cars.

The second track of the album “Outsiders” presents a classic Suede-construction of a dystopian verse written in minor chords, soon delivered by a major and vigorous chorus, creating a well-known, but effective grandeur. The juxtaposition of darkness and light characterizes the album, that surely doesn’t score high on the ingenuity-scale, but will easily have you humming along after a couple of spins. The storyline of asking the big questions tie in well with the symphonic nature of the album but still doesn’t keep all 15 tracks afloat, as a few of them drown in a small puddle of un-originality, like the ballad “Pale Snow”, trying to lead up to something magical but not quite arriving.

That being said, Suede is making a legitimate effort at resuming relevance. “I Don’t Know How To Reach You” and “What I Am Trying To Tell You” are great examples of the band profiting off the nostalgic sound of their 90’s albums without moving too much into the line of fire of the more ambitious tracks. But for the same reason, the soundscapes never really take flight, staying close to a formula that works. For all of these reasons, “Night Thougths” end up primarily as a very well-sounding album, worth a couple of spins but hardly making it into the already crowded list of contenders for “Album Of The Year”.


Download: When You Are Young, Outsiders, No Tomorrow
For The Fans Of: Blur, Oasis, Manic Street Preachers

Release date 22.01.2016
Warner Records

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