Suede
Bloodsports


3.7
great

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
March 18th, 2013 | 14 replies | 6,389 views


Release Date: 03/18/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maybe you can polish suede after all

Suede’s initial commercial and creative decline is fairly well documented in the British music press. Not long before bowing out in the early to mid-2000s, the five piece booked a five-night farewell residency in London, playing each of their five albums one night after another in full.

The second hand ticket market for those gigs read like a digital tarot deck. For the run through of their last record, the forgetful and disappointing A New Morning ended up being hawked for less than their original asking price. On the other hand, tickets for the recital of Dog Man Star, a particular benchmark of British guitar music and most well-received record, saw the resale market go into overdrive, kicking prices up to ten times their original amount.

Although a fine way to bow out overall, it was something of a sad indictment of a group whose tales of urban decay, sleaze, hedonism and graphic sexual mores reached out and grabbed their audience by both their lapels and between their legs. Alas, ennui, consumer apathy and vocalist Brett Anderson’s crippling addictions combined and contrived to ensure that their final two records (including the patchy Head Music) passed by sans adulation and sales.

Upon the first few listens to Bloodsports, the easiest thing to do would be to call it a ‘return to form’ (as many have already done) and then pick up from where the bookmark lay in a copy of ‘Cliched Writing For Lazy Bastards’. Bloodsports is something more simple than a ‘return to form’; in effect, it is Suede, for the most part, doing what they have always been capable of.

Bloodsports is the sound of a band who have rested, recouped and clawed back some of that old time vitality. The album’s opening triple salvo picks up where we left off with 1996’s Coming Up. “Barriers”, “Snowblind” and “It Starts and Ends With You” are replete with uplifting choruses, call and answer refrains, classic Anderson “la-la-la” bridging, an arrogant stomp and that needling, sci-fi guitar that makes them so easily identifiable.

The real change with Bloodsports is its lyrics. Gone is the leather clad, hyper sexual aggression that slathered across their early releases. In its place is a more measured approach that explores the ins and outs of the emotional spectrum. “Sabotage” sees Anderson opining that he and an unnamed beau’s ‘love is sabotaged’ while “What Are You Not Telling Me?” carries with it the weight of a long, drawn out relationship that can no longer be patched together by the forgetfulness of youth.

Much has been made of the album’s sequencing; drawing to a close with four consecutive ballads. One review likened it to the many false endings in Return Of The King, but it’s nothing so profound and unnecessary as that. The excellent “Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away” is a song that could slide very gracefully into Suede’s classics canon. Closer “Faultlines” could very well neatly sum up the past of a band with one of the more cracked histories in modern music.

You get the sense that Suede are playing it by ear, gauging reaction before making another strike. After the dust settles on Bloodsports it will be interesting to see what their next move is. For the time being though, let’s bask in the return of one of the more curious groups to have existed, and hope that these consummate professionals make this return a long-term affair.



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user ratings (61)
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3.7
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other reviews of this album
putnam39 (4)
Bloodsports is an album so convincing that we can stow away our fears and celebrate – Suede is bac...


Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2013



10003 Comments


this was ok, i love the first song

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



23652 Comments


that summary is so perfect

pretty sure I wouldn't like this very much

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2013



1918 Comments


Sounds interesting, I really dug the review. Got a nice flow to it and it is (of course) well-written. I did notice this:

"something more simple"

Should just be "simpler." Just so y'know.

KINGSTATICTHETHIRD
March 18th 2013



613 Comments


"Maybe you can polish suede after all"

ugh

bloc
March 18th 2013



34499 Comments


She's In Fashion has some nostalgic ties, but I'll probably avoid this.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

cpimentel986
March 18th 2013



82 Comments


Yes!! I'll go right in then!

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2013



4200 Comments


kk new beady eye gonna leak then noel gallagher high byrds gonna leak because wibbling rivarly and britpop tri-force will activate

Digging: Echo Lane Afterschool Inc. - bikes clouds cranes phones

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2013



8221 Comments


Solid review man. I had no idea these guys were making a comeback. I may yet check this out.

Digging: Metsatoll - Karjajuht

Dreamflight
March 19th 2013



1760 Comments


didn't know they were releasing new stuff. gotta check it.

NapalmCrusader
March 19th 2013



1737 Comments


Really liked the self titled, I'm going to check this

cpimentel986
March 19th 2013



82 Comments


The self titled was 3 decades ago. This is different.

morrissey
Moderator
March 19th 2013



1688 Comments


Great review, really well written. I'll have to check this out, I really liked the Tears album but even that's almost a decade old now.

Etrius
March 21st 2013



47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Need to get this asap
Check out Brett Anderson´s solo stuff: Black Rainbows was pretty good and only 2 years old too ;-)

Etrius
December 30th 2013



47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

saw them live in vienna, awesome concert. made me love the new album.



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