It’s finally out (March, 18 2013): the new Suede album, Bloodsports! This is yet another comeback record from a reformed band, except… this is not just a band, it’s Suede, and I always freakin’ loved Suede!
I’ve been following them since their debut album, back in 1993, so their re-union after the split up in 2003 was of course very good news for me (and I guess for Billy Corgan too, since I remember him stating on Twitter that he was sad that a band like Suede had split up).
The band did a good job in building up the suspense for this new release via the social media, and you can really feel they were truly excited about working together again and to provide fresh music to their fans, and this energy creates the right vibe around the new work and around the band itself.
Because this is one of my favorites bands, I had to do this thing of lowering my expectations for the album, because I always tend to over rise them, and I often end up being disappointed on one level or another.
But for my delight, Bloodsports actually sounds totally amazing, and very Suede too, which is all I was asking for from the album, and I guess that the result is exactly what the band intended to achieve with this work. Well, if Suede wanted to make the point of being able to output great music eleven years after their doubtful last album (A New Morning), than they pretty much succeeded at that, and they surely demonstrate that the true british pop sound is still very much alive in them.
The beginning of the album sounds assuring and convincing, and the feeling remains through the whole record. The songs flow one into the other nicely and smoothly. The first half of the album is very much upbeat and it shows off some jubilant, dominating guitar riffs that emphasise the sudden and beautiful variations of melodies (good job, Richard Oakes!).
The second half of the album reveals instead the moody and slower side of Suede, and it expresses all the dramatic and sad power that the band is able to provide, with Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away and Always shining over the others.
If only Sabotage would have been moved under Hit Me in the track listing, the album would have been literally split in two halves, with the pop bit on one side and the dark one on the other, and I really think they should have dared to go for this arrangement, as it would have marked the separation of the two different atmospheres in a real explicit way, which would have been so great. (But anyway, that’s what I’ll end up doing in my iTunes.)
Bloodsport is the celebration of a reformed Suede throughout the most classic and representative sound of the band. Still, I admit I miss the presence of one of their sweet and romantic songs, like Wild Ones or Saturday Night or Astrogirl or This Time. But well, I should probably hope for some possible b-sides, because the band always produced great, memorable ones.
Actually, on that matter, a deluxe version of the album is available, with two additional tracks, and they’re both a confirmation what I just stated about Suede’s b-sides. Dawn Chorus is more keyboards-based than the others, and Howl is another coloured and joyful song.
So, ten songs (or twelve!) that make a solid album for an exciting comeback. What else to say? Long life to Suede! Keep the good work and the great music up and coming. Always!
Here’s the tracklist for Bloodsports:
- It Starts And Ends With You
- For The Strangers
- Hit Me
- Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away
- What Are You Not Telling Me?