Customer Review

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not their finest hour, and yet, better than what's around..., 23 Mar 2013
This review is from: Bloodsports (Audio CD)
I'm a Suede fan, but at first I didn't really get this record... now after repeated listening it's beginning to grow on me.
It's a return to the tough and tight sound of their first records, and this may be good news in many ways; they definitely sound as a four-piece band, as they were in the beginning. Downside is, Codling's keyboards and synths are barely there, if they are there at all.

Also, their first producer is back at the helm, and I'm not so sure if this is the smartest move (back then, the band were reportedly not always happy with his production...). There are some questionable production choices: the sound is very compressed, with very poor dynamics; they obviously went for a "wall of sound" effect. This means, among other things, that Oakes' guitars, even if prominently featured throughout the album, are a bit indistinct; the riffs and the nuances in his playing don't really stand out as they could.
As I said, it's also a pity that Codling's playing is all but buried in the mix. I miss the colours and the textures he brought to, say, Head Music, making the music fresh and varied.

As for songwriting, there are many good songs and a few great songs, but that's a given, being Suede... even on A New Morning there was some outstanding work.
And Anderson's voice is in fine shape, as usual.

So, I'm ok with Bloodsports, but those who say it's their best work obviously don't know what they're talking about.
Anyway, I'm glad the boys are back and I'm glad to have this record. I just know they can, and I'm sure they will, do better than this.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Mar 2013 13:30:38 GMT
Beavis says:
I had my first listen today and was blown away by the vocals too much to concentrate on the music for the moment. I agree with what you say in that I find myself playing a new morning more often than say dog man star

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2013 21:35:23 GMT
You have crossed over to bizarro world!

Posted on 27 Mar 2013 23:08:54 GMT
JMC says:
A New Morning is underrated. It has a lot of fine material on it and like Beavis I play it more often than Dog Man Star.

Agree about Neil Codling on Bloodsports, but it sounds on first listen like an excellent album. Brett on top form.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2013 23:39:46 GMT
Agnes Andrea says:
what I question a bit about Bloodsports, but that's my opinion, is the production. If you listen to, for example, their first album (and even if the producer was the same), it was more layered, it had more dynamics and "space" between instruments. You could distinctly hear the different guitar parts juxtaposed by Butler, often at least 3 different parts, an acoustic, a semi-acoustic or "clean" electric and a another raunchier electric which carried the riffs. I appreciate Oakes' just as much as I like Butler's playing, but here he has been recorded in a way that flattens out every detail, all you ever hear is a guitar on the verge of distortion. The overall sound has been recorded, certainly on purpose, very loud, very "mp3 oriented" or "digital-age friendly" if I may say so. This, in my opinion, goes to the detriment of the qualities of the band

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2013 16:23:55 BDT
Pete says:
Sadly, that's why I've not played this album more than once. I can't stand the Loudness. Those earlier albums sound so good. How I wish they'd release double editions (Like Blu-Rays with DVDs inside). Why not release the CD with full dynamics and give the option to download (or 'downloud') a heavily compressed mp3 version?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2013 21:06:11 BDT
The band have stated that this is exactly how they wanted the record to sound. To me, it doesn't sound like a product that has been clipped.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Apr 2013 22:24:01 BDT
Agnes Andrea says:
Yes, that's exactly what I said, it seems the songs were deliberately recorded this way - very compressed dynamics. Sonic-wise there's no comparison with - say - their first records, which had rich dynamics which allowed the sound to "breathe". The difference is there to be heard. I know this was deliberate, but I so much prefere the sound of those records.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2013 17:09:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jul 2013 17:09:47 BDT
It's a different mindset today compared to the '90s. People cared more about sound quality back then, hence all the audio gear seen in people's homes. It's a different story today, all you see is Apple earbuds and not even quality headphones. And bands feel that if they aren't loud enough, they won't get noticed on a playlist on the internet.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Oct 2013 02:36:59 BDT
J. Potter says:
The production on this album does indeed sound very muddy, lots of detail gets stuck in the mix. It almost sounds like an early U2 record, especially with Barriers.

Can't say I'm impressed much either, the sound is just so mediocre.
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