Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, Feb 24th, 2016

Suede: Night Thoughts

Night Thoughts
(Suede Ltd/Warner Music)

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It’s easy to be cynical about the resurgence of so many Britpop bands as of late. Suede (or The London Suede, as the group is sometimes known on our side of the pond) was one of the first bands to define the genre and one of the first to reunite. However, Night Thoughts proves that this is still a band with much to say. Perhaps more than any other Suede release, this feels like a unified record. Strings bring a cinematic side to the massive opening track “When You Are Young,” and similar orchestral notes on several other tracks helps to add cohesion. The confidence in this music belies the anxiety that fills most of the lyrics. The electro-tinged “Pale Snow,” which eschews conventional lyrical structure, and the baroque “I Can’t Give Her What She Wants” both address failing to keep a relationship together. Youth is another theme that crops up repeatedly, and it’s not hard to see how the band’s early struggles and fame informed frontman Brett Anderson’s writing. Besides “When You Are Young” and “When You Were Young,” one can find a misfit anthem in “Outsiders” and the brash innocence and ego of youth in “Like Kids.” What’s remarkable about Night Thoughts is that every track feels like a win. Every song has its purpose as though building a soundtrack, and that is no coincidence. Photographer Roger Sargent directed a film to go along with the album, though you certainly don’t need the visuals to enjoy the album. Night Thoughts is a record that embraces the discomfort of flaws while sounding pretty damned confident. As well the band should be.

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Suede: Night Thoughts