Clear the launchpad. I am set to mothereffing squee.
SUEDE (The London) is back together, has a new album next month called “Bloodsports,” and the new stuff available on the YouTubes is quite good really! Reminiscent of their earlier work without being uninspired, retro and still kind of new. I have a feeling it would get a good bit of airplay in the American market if it came from a 20-something band with no history or baggage. But, hell, they’ve instantly got my preorder bucks and I haven’t even given that to David Bowie and Depeche Mode. Which reminds me, I need to preorder David Bowie and Depeche Mode.
I love Suede. I have never really met anyone else who did, because I have always lived in the American South and they have never been popular in this country, apart from 5 minutes in 1993ish, and even then I don’t think they had chart success, just MTV play. Since about that time, they have also been forced to append “The London” to their name in the US owing to a folksinger who already had that name here, making my iTunes library vexingly inconsistent.
With some albums, I confess — really a lot of post-Sci-Fi Lullabies output — I loved the idea of Suede more than what they were actually releasing. Their first two albums were masterpieces that really stand the test of time. But subsequent work had less spine and point of view, although I could always find something to love on a Suede album and talk about it for paragraphs and paragraphs, like here. Still… Le sigh. That may be why they went their separate ways a decade ago. They were just kind of done.
Brett, whose soaring Neil Tennant-with-range voice has been a rich source of endorphins for me to the chagrin of parents, roommates, and significant others down the years, did a few solo albums and even got back together with Suede’s first guitarist, Bernard Butler for one album of Suedeish stuff a few years ago. All good. But of course, you can’t make/love an album like “Dog Man Star” and not be haunted by it.
I’m so glad they are back. And more than that even, I’m glad the new material (the two songs of it I’ve heard anyway) sounds like they may have stolen a page from Duran Duran’s grimoire (bwahahahahaha) and scared up some friendly old ghosts, but none of the demons that usually attend comebacks — stale repetition, hollowness, pretense, general cash grabbiness. To sound like your best selves only better is a neat trick for any band. I hope they pull it off on “Bloodsports.” Based on “It Starts and Ends With You” and “Barriers,” immediately below, I have hope.
My favorite song from their first album, back in the day. Could now be titled “So 90s,” but hey…
Hey, I AM a water sign. And my name’s Angela! Says 14-year-old me. 35-year-old Angela does, ironically, need sleeping pills.
Suede eventually morphed into more of this kind of thing, which I still will sing in mixed company, but it’s perhaps less immune to the rigors of time..
And finally, best song to let braid your hair while you sulk through a bottle of Chardonnay, 1996.