on 3 October 2002
This album is everything I hoped it would be. After the disappointment of Head Music, I really wondered what would happen to one of my favourite bands of all time. I bought this album a couple of days ago and haven't stopped playing it since. There are 2 bonus tracks on this version of the CD, one is titled on the album cover, but the other is 'hidden' at the end of 'You Belong to Me' and is by far the best track on the entire album. It's the perfect ending to a Suede album, just like they used to end their albums in the days of their first CD and the excellent Dog Man Star.
Positivity - This took a while to grow on me. It's not the best track on the album, but it's a lovely, light, uplifting song.
Obsessions - I really like this song. That wonderful sound that only Suede can produce.
Lonely Girls - This is one of my favourite tracks. It's got a beautifully sad sound, and is the type of track I've come to expect from Suede.
Lost In TV - Not my favourite track, but good nonetheless. It lacks that certain something.
Beautiful Loser - A really good track, that reminds me of the sound of their first album.
Streetlife - My least favourite track on the album. Quite a fast track; good to jump about to though!!!
Astrogirl - I love this song. It's a fairly slow track, and is classic Suede.
Untitled - Excellent. A slow, beautiful song that I could listen to over and over again.
Morning - A slow track with an acoustic feel. Brett's voice seems to echo around my room when I play this track. Beautiful.
One Hit to the Body - This is a good, upbeat track. Not their best, but an ejoyable song.
When the Rain Falls - This track has a different feel to it, than your 'average' Suede track. Yet another good song.
You Belong to Me - This has a distinctly 'pop' feel about it. That's not a bad thing. The music is rather good, but I just feel as though this could have been a better track (it's hard to put into words).
Bonus Track - I think this is called Oceans Between Us. You have to scan forward at the end of You Belong to Me to get to this. This is a slow song that has beautiful vocals and music. It echoes around the room, and is just a fantastic way to end the album. The best track by far.
Brett's voice is up to his usual standard, and the music is generally very good. There's a good mix of slow and more 'pop' type songs. I'd highly recommend this album to old and new Suede fans. Get this version though, as the bonus track is not available on the standard issue and it would be a shame to miss the best track on the album!
on 4 October 2002
My word, this is marvelous. Especially played loud and sung along to.
Its a celebration of the mundanity and marvel of everday life - stupid things that people do, how nice rainstorms can be, shaking your rear, media pressure for aspirational lifestyles, love and defiant individuality. Oh and, of course, a few Astrogirls, make-believe skies and Atlantis thrown in for good measure.
As a whole album, this is the best thing they have done since Dog Man Star. Brett's given in to his Bowie & Prince fetish and gone and made an album that's an onslaught of choruses, suburban sci-fi imagery, gurgling guitars, swells of sparkly synth and more choruses. Musically, they've really thrown the net wide - harmonicas, bongos, mellotrons and (in a bit of a suede revelation) layers and layers fabulous harmonies.
Brett also seems to have reinvigorated himself lyrically - becoming the dominating pressence over the whole album. A New Morning is full to the brim with stuff that makes me grin like a big happy rock chimp - Obessions & Beautiful Loser particularly. This is really welcome after the psychotic urban alienation of Head Music, A New Morning is a lot more open and universal by comparisson.
The bonus track "you belong to me" is a stormer too (seemingly being Bretts lyrical manifesto for the whole album), and would nestle nicely in between Positivity and Obessions if you ask me. When you add in the fascinating alternate sessions you can link to with the CD, this is amazing value as a purchase.
And that artwork! Great swirls of bright paint - lovely stuff.
on 20 December 2003
i have a soft spot for this album. very underrated on its release, and still is now. it just crept into the top 30 and then disappeared. this is suedes back to basics album. the who did it with their who by numbers album and the beatles did with the white album. these albums were also not very much appreciated when they were released. many of the songs on a new morning are acoustic and bretts singing laid back and assured. the ironic thing is, the two best songs are the bonus and hidden tracks. you belong to me would fit easily on the fantasic coming up, and oceans could have been one of their ace b sides from the early days. if your a suede fan and haven't brought this album due to its poor reviews do yourself a favour and get a copy. you will be pleasntly surprised!
on 18 March 2004
This is the album where Suede morph themselves (very competently I might add) into the Alan Parsons Project. If you do not have an open mind, and are determined to hang on for the long awaited Dog Man Star-2, you will be sorely disappointed. If like me, however, you find the concept of Suede sounding lighter/happier rather endearing (albeit a bit spooky!) then dive in and allow yourself to be totally charmed. There are some beautiful songs on here, songs made all the more poignant by considering the circumstances in which they were written. Anyone who has ever been down and had to crawl their way back up, anyone who's ever had "a new morning", will hear themselves in this album. I think it's truly beautiful.
on 15 November 2002
First thoughts when I heard this? Ok, I guess. Suede have lost the sinister fake-naivety running through the drug-addelled 'coming up' that I have been looking for ever since. However for fans of the first 2 albums, this is a welcome turnaround. Leaving glittering pop records in the dust the chords have turned major, and some tracks sound like very old Suede, notably 'morning' (a live recording perhaps? sounds georgeously unproduced). Am currently enjoying 'Street life' and 'Beautiful loser',which sound like properly written rock 'n roll as opposed to written-for-affect-anthems. The pulsating throbbing guitar lines that all but sank into obscurity in'head music' have returned re-worked and very well crafted. 'watch out for a slightly out of place beat on 'lonely girls', can't quite figure that one out. Production, as ever, is fantastic. They haven't returned to their old mellow magic yet, but watch this space...
I know that Suede's career was latterly on quite a sharp downward spiral and that 1999's Head Music was rightly panned for its over-(self)-indulgence and its mediocre material, but (listening again) I really do feel that their career closing album 2002's A New Morning is not a bad album. OK, it certainly isn't able to recapture the inspirational song-writing on the first two albums (and, sound-wise, it does continue more naturally to mirror the later albums, albeit without the muddy electronica of Head Music), but I would rate it quite close to 1996's Coming Up.
As with all their post-Dog Man Star albums, A New Morning is very much a mixed bag with some rather forgettable songs but also with some notable highlights - indeed, Anderson's lyric writing is at times rather more inventive here. Despite the severe criticism it received on release and its obviously banal lyrics (I'm not sure being in Dynasty would necessarily be an entirely positive experience), album opener Positivity is a dynamic and catchy little number. This is followed by Anderson's amusing take on male/female obsessive behaviour in Obsessions ('It's the way you close the doors of my car'), which has an impressive Richard Oakes guitar hook, and similarly each of One Hit To The Body and You Belong To Me rank with some of the band's best up-tempo songs (such as New Generation, Beautiful Ones, We Are The Pigs, etc). In terms of the ballads, the acoustic guitar-backed Lonely Girls and Lost In TV both have exquisite melodies and address interesting (albeit lyrically rather under-developed) contemporary issues. For me, however, the killer song on the album is the superb Beautiful Loser, another song with some interesting lyrics ('Your brain is drip-connected to the satellite') and with an Oakes hook to rank with those of the best of Bernard Butler.
So, not a classic then, but definitely worth a listen - as of course was the Anderson/Butler short-lived venture, The Tears and their 2005 album Here Come The Tears.
on 22 August 2002
Suede's follow up to '99s plodding-but-good-in-parts 'Headmusic' is a far more simplistic, catchier offering. Suede are still very much Suede, good news to their fans, bad to their haters.
New single 'Positivity' is a light, pleasant song, though slighlty dissapointing. Luckily it is not representative of the rest of the album. A good handful of these new tracks are reminiscent of the pop moments on 'Dog Man Star', 'Obsessions' would sit well on that album, as would the charming simplicity of 'Untitled', with it's 'At the Drive By...' lyrics sounding like 'Aladin Sane' David Bowie. 'Lost In TV' is all acoustic guitars and three part harmonies, a definite highlight.'Beautiful Loser' is the album's typical suede rocker, which rocks very well, and 'StreetLife' is a jolly jangly number about 'shaking rears' and 'sexual equality'. 'Astro Girl' treads on new territory, sounding like a mix between a harder Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips with its strange Retro Sci-Fi sound. Suede do slow songs well, and any Suede fan will know a song by their favourite band called 'When The Rain Falls' won't dissapoint. After the last track, a ten minute gap leads to a 'hidden' song; 'Oceans'. Premiered at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in 2000, this song is excellent. Suede have made a good comeback.
Lyrically, as with 'Headmusic' this record isn't as strong as the earlier days, though 'Untilted's line '...like flies on a windscreen/like insects in glue/we could stick together/if you wanted to...' shows Anderson has not lost his humour.
on 7 September 2002
Suede's fith album proper, reviewed track by track.
1. POSITVITY- A short, catchy mid paced number. Not a million miles away from 'She's In Fashion; in the verses. A light acoustic touch, jangly riff and summery strings make this a gentle opener.
2. LOST IN TV- A great opening line from Brett grabs the attention 'I see you in my life, I see you on the screen, an ascending socialite, orbiting the scene'. Unashamedly eclectic, LOST IN TV, with its mellow organ line, acoustic guitars and three part harmonies is reminiscent of early Bowie, with a chorus that R.E.M would be proud of.
3. OBSESSIONS- The first uptempo number, and this is great. Unlike the rockers on 'Headmusic' OBSESSIONS sounds as fresh and exciting as earlier tracks like 'Trash', 'New Generation' and 'This Hollywood Life'- nice harmonica. A Suede classic.
4. LONELY GIRLS- After OBSESSIONS, LONELY GIRLS calms down the listener with a pleasant acoustic -almost folky- guitar. As the title would suggest, this is a song about lonely girls. While this may not be the best song on the album, it is decidely cathcy and has a suprisingly good string arrangement.
5. ASTRO GIRL- Another moment which brings Bowie to mind. A lovely sparse piano and strange distorted strings frame Brett's voice as he croons about a strange relationship with an astro girl. Odd stuff for Suede, but nonetheless,this is a damn fine song.
6. BEAUTIFUL LOSER- A definite highlight- and again, classic Suede. This song is instantly memorable, and is very, very sing-along.
7. STREET LIFE- the catchiness continues, with another strong track, which grows on you- a lot. When listening to the album, this is the one you'll want to dance to most, so 'Shake your rear' as Brett says.
8. UNTITLED- a lovely, lovely song. Those sparse piano chords are back, as are some very effective three part harmonies, this song sounds like it was recorded live, with some nice subtle background noise addinf texture tot he bold simplicity.
9. MORNING- a short John Lennonish acoustic moment, which builds well. Not the best though.
10. ONE HIT TO THE BODY- a strange one this, what exactly is 'One hit to the body'? Well apart from that questin this song is dumb sing-along fun, but slighlty dissapointing compared to the rest of the album.
11. WHEN THE RAIN FALLS- an up tempo ballad, which your foot demands to tap to. Reminiscent of good Swedish pop, from the likes of the Cardigans and the Wannadies. the spoken verse at the end is a tad cloying though... but fear not it is not the end.
12. OCEANS (hidden track). Leave WHEN THE RAIN FALLS on for about 10 minutes, and then you'll get 'Oceans' which is brilliant. Not exactly continuing the 'up' happy feeling of the album, this is about a failed, dull marriage! It is reminiscent of past glory the Living Dead for it's acoustic guitar and meloncholy verse- and its great!
on 30 June 2011
It was hammered at the time, but this re-issue shows that it was a poor track selection, not poor material, that made this album less than it should have been. Songs like Colours and Cheap are right up there with the early stuff.. why they ended up as b-sides ??? I assume the band had reached the end of their tether and just wanted the album out. The cover artwork tells the story, just a few colour splashes on a CD. Shame, because with a bit more umph this could have been the best album of Suede's career.
Regularly dismissed by critics and group members alike, "A New Morning" enjoys little praise when Suede's career is assessed. Listening to this new expanded edition, this seems a bit unfair.
The recording was a protracted affair and by the time the album was released in 2002, Suede 2.1 had emerged with Neil Codling leaving due to illness (he still co-writes several songs present here) and Alex Lee coming aboard. The album is certainly very different from any of its predecessors; acoustic instruments are predominant and there is a tender, pastoral feel to the music - it's no surprise to find the group performing 2 different acoustic sets on the accompanying DVD. Shorn of the usual claustrophobic urban drama, this is the slow romantic afternoon of Suede's career. In fact, it's tempting to speculate that part of the reason for the lukewarm reception afforded to the album was the autumn release date - on a warm evening in June, "A New Morning" has a place it certainly couldn't inhabit in late September into October. However, the cost of this warming prettiness is a lack of edge; in fact, the main duds on the album - "Streetlife" and "One Hit To The Body" - are forced, unconvincing attempts to add some of the sharpness of Suede 2.0 to the album. A few songs also drift by a little too easily so it's no surprise that Brett Anderson omits several tracks in his alternate running order, replacing them with superior b-sides (of which there are many, suggesting the group developed too strong an idea of what kind of album they wanted to make, at the expense of some better songs). For this listener, this is a much more enjoyable album than "Head Music" - at bare minimum, they sound like a group again and there are plenty of delightful instrumental touches to enjoy. A packed b-sides disc also covers the last handful of recordings the group made to coincide with the "Singles" album issued the following year, including the odd, stompy single "Attitude". And that was that, the group finally collapsing in an exhausted heap at the end of 2003.
It would be wrong to suggest that "A New Morning" is a lost classic but it is unfairly dismissed and there is plenty of beautiful music to be had in this edition. With the group continuing to tour and admitting that they are toying with new material, the prospect that this may not be their swansong after all is an enticing one. If Suede enjoy another new morning, it's to be hoped that the lessons of this one have been learned. Let's see.