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Suede's self-titled debut is in many ways the birthplace of what came to be called Britpop. In 1992 there were very few British bands who sang in colloquial accents and played like they'd listened to nothing but glam-rock Bowie since the day they were born. Mired in the deadening claustrophobia of satellite towns, aggressive sex and cheap pills, ambitious tracks like "The Next Life" and "Pantomime Horse" promise greatness but lack sufficient grace and drama. Likewise guitarist Bernard Butler at times muddies the Suede sound with a needless profusion of overdubs. Following on from their triumphantly ambitious first three singles, which are included here, some of Suede's debut feels surprisingly like filler material. Yet despite its obvious shortcomings and the inclusion of first album immaturities like the surprisingly tame "Animal Lover", Suede is the sound of a great British band being conceived. --James Littlewood
Top Customer Reviews
It is impossible to overstate the beauty and inspiration that this record brought us. An extraordinary misfit singer, yelping and swooning over sordid tales of drugs, sex and ennui wrapped in a suburban concrete overcoat. A phenomenal guitarist, trilling and hammering a clutch of instantly world-class riffs. A band to match.
You will have heard all about Britpop oasis blah blah blur. This is the one that mattered. The elements that would later teeter to cliche - the 'beautiful loser' lyrics, the glamorama, the seediness - are embodied most memorably in three crunching singles - Animal Nitrate, The Drowners, Metal Mickey. Then there are the 'keepers' - Sleeping Pills, Pantomime Horse and the aching melody of the Next Life. Like a call to arms to the emotionally dispossessed this album not only put a stiletto heel into the notion that there were no great bands anymore, but also exuded the kind of self-conscious Britishness that pre-figured the vibrant Britpop era.
Of course there were choppier (and poppier) waters ahead, with the departure of guitarist Bernard Butler, the re-birth of Coming Up, the lapses into semi-parody. But set against the context of today's drab indie-rock, Suede seems like a glorious vindiction of brutal, confused youth and the redemptive power of brilliant music: despite all the stardust and glitterballs there can be nothing more humane and honest than that.
There are several other little nods to the noted band also, particularly on the opening track, with it's opening drum solo and piano break recalling 'Reel Around the Fountain,' the opening song on The Smiths debut. But Suede use their influences subtlety and both the music and lyrics are entirely the bands own, with only little nods to their influences in their overall aesthetic.
Aside from ballads, there are some rockers like the excellent, 'Metal Mickey' and the classic single, 'Animal Nitrate.' Suede prove themselves capable of several different sounds both musically and vocally, with Anderson's voice leaping from deep baritone to falsetto with great ease and finesse. His voice is quite unique and perhaps rather grating or difficult to enjoy for some, but perseverance will put an end to that.
At the time, pretty much everyone ditched this album as soon as 'Dog Man Star' came out - I'm not sure whether that record has stood the test of time as well as this one. I certainly don't think they ever matched the sheer energy and glamour of their debut. It still stands up now and is definitely one for the collection. If you want to call yourself a muso, you HAVE to own 'Suede'.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good quality and great album. This reissue is a must have for suede lovers.Published 7 months ago by Alexander Cheshire