I continue to find the Amazon / BBC review of this item quite incredible. Both this - and Wilderness, Anderson's previous album - are consummate pieces of artistry. Sure, they're far from the upbeat, cosy indie rock that is clearly the reviewers preferred content, but citing the respective levels of public acclaim accorded to Jarvis Cocker and Brett Anderson are cheap and misguided. Brett Anderson never shone in the public eye as the 'star' of Suede in the same way that Cocker did with Pulp, and solo artists rarely reach the levels of success that their work with their signature band suggests they should. That doesn't mean that their art is worse, and here, in Slow Attack, Anderson provides us with a demonstration of song crafting talent that is second to none. Not as bleak or sparse as Wilderness, yet still brimmed with sadness and regret, the songs at times rise to a peak of elegaic beauty (ie Ashes of Us) where voice and arrangement combine to demonstrate that Anderson has lost none of the wistful, bitter sweet side of his songwriting, even while the arch commentator on modern society seems to have taken a back seat. Whether you like this approach or not is the question; clearly the BBC reviewer does not, but to claim that it shows a 'seemingly wilful inability to contain anything approaching a solid tune' says more about the reviewer's inability to understand songwriting than it ever will about Brett Anderson's solo albums.
I don't own a single Suede album, so I'm not even a hardcore fan. But this is beautiful, mournful, painful - and, above all, genuine - art.