When it comes down to it, there was a big difference between the British Punk and New Wave of the 70’s and 80’s and the Britpop of the 90’s. The punks and new wavers were attempting to do something different. They had influences which were often visible but they strived to define and to separate themselves.
Britpop on the other hand was unashamedly traditional and particularly enthralled by the glam rock scene of the early 70’s. For no Brit pop band was this more apparent than Suede. From the vocals to the guitars, Suede sound like T Rex and later Roxy Music revisited with Bowie’s vocal mannerisms thrown in. The other bigger influence here was The Smiths and Suede’s song structures as well as some of Brett Anderson’s wordplay reflected this. I wrote more about all of this here http://rgdinmalaysia.xanga.com/659543597/suede-as-an-example-of-successful-traditionalism-in-music/
Suede has released a new record, the first in 11 years, but BLOODSPORTS, much like MBV the new one by My Bloody Valentine, sounds like a follow-up that could have come out within a space of a year or two after their last record.
All the Suede trademarks there – Anderson’s swooping, overstated vocals filled with a relentless power one doesn’t normally associate with a man in his mid 40’s, Richard Oakes's guitar which is especially stinging, a booming rhythm section, big singalong rockers and mock insightful ballads in which Anderson turns it down a notch to establish some level of confessional intimacy with the audience.
But in the past it’s been the ballads that have been key the overall excellence of Suede’s records. The band’s big sound sometimes coupled with strings sounds more focused on a slow song and Anderson can really tear it apart without being rushed. Many of Suede’s best songs are ballads or slower numbers – The Asphalt World, Daddy’s Speeding, Black or Blue, Pantomime Horse, Picnic by the Motorway, He’s Gone, Untitled.
It’s no different on BLOODSPORTS. In fact while there are plenty of readymade power anthems such as Barriers and It Starts and Ends with You (Some of the faster songs remind me of The Tears Anderson and original guitarist Bernard Butler’s post Suede project due to their relative brevity), the best songs are the slower ones such as Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away and Always as they stretch out the band’s engaging Marc Bolan foppery coupled with riffs.
You can go home again musically. BLOODSPORTS is great fun perhaps less attitude than the old Suede but certainly enough for a Suede fan like me because most importantly it sounds like Suede.