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A FALSE DAWN,
This review is from: A New Morning (Audio CD)A New Morning was roundly slated upon release signalling the death throes for perhaps the brightest, most daring British band of the Nineties. Its no secret that recording the album was a tortuous affair, and that Suede were pretty well on their last legs due to a combination of internal and external factors. Brett Anderson's revealling essay for A New Morning really sums up the dilemma the band faced, [ exposed in detail in David Barnetts superb biography of the band, Love and Poison], and that a combination of lazy songwriting, drugs, and myth busting left an ultimately disappointing final studio album that could, and indeed should, have been much better. For a band like Suede to bow out with such a whimper would have been almost unthinkable five years earlier.
A New Morning really gets of to a bad start, with the twee [ now thats a word I would never have expected to use in connection with Suede], Positivity, and with the exception of Obsession, Beautiful Loser, One Hit to the Body, and...Morning, the album lacks a real focus, and any of the swagger that made Suede so irresistable a decade earlier. Also Bretts voice sounds as if he is struggling to hit his vocal range and this is cruelly exposed throughout the album.
However, as the demos at the end of disc one suggest, things could have turned out differently, as superior versions of most of the finished album suggest that Suedes early mindset for the album appeared to develop the sound of Coming Up, which would have played to the bands obvious strengths after the electronic experimentation of Head Music. Although this may have been viewed as a step backwards, it may have given the band enough time and space to properly regroup, and face a second decade as a viable recording entity.
Disc two is where A New Morning's dilemma is really exposed as many of the disgarded b'side tracks actually eclipse much of their parent album [ for example wasting tracks as good as You Belong to Me, Cool Thing or Simon suggests a band in a confidence tailspin, or completely out of touch with their audience].Disc two really has enough decent material to hint that Suede could have ridden out their problems, and come back stronger. From Cheap to Colours and beyond A New Morning's sessions produced some fine but wasted material.That Suede called it a day after touring the album says more about the individuals in the band than their writing abilities.
The DVD has the Promotional videos for the album, and two mainly accoustic performances recorded 6 weeks apart, and showing the band in a competant mode, but enjoyable all the same.The bonus interview is interesting, and relatively candid, with Brett admitting that the band were intent on alienating a large part of their audience, and suggesting that Positivity had a message that was too upbeat to connect with the bands fanbase [ actually, its quite a weak song in my opinion].
Still the story of Suede's rise and fall is told brilliantly throughout this whole set of reissues, and the attention to detail, and honesty of the band members, is a fine way to fullstop this phase of Suede's career. The fact that the band are back[ and in blistering live form], is the most positive outcome from the whole reissue process.
Now, how about a proper new album?