Suede – Bloodsports
When Barriers – the first new music from Suede in 10 years – hit as a free download this month it may not have achieved Bowie-level coverage, but Brett Anderson’s vocals are equally distinctive. And Barriers is really rather good; the dark sweep of Suede’s brutal glamour is firmly in place and that spectacular vocal swoop is dulled not at all by time. Snowblind, the electro-tinged Sabotage and the louche For All Strangers have a faded glamour that you’d hope for a band for whom youth was such an important part of their starting proposition.
There are some fantastic moments for those of us who enjoy collecting outlandish Suede-isms: “the rumours burn like Roman candles” at one stage. Yet lead single It Starts and Ends With You forgets that what we loved about Suede was never jolliness and it's the worst moment on a record that is otherwise solid (and therefore better than the last two offerings) but not spectacular (like everything they did before 1997).