The London Suede, “Night Thoughts”

Suede-2016-Night_Thoughts_cover_hi-resThe London Suede
Night Thoughts
RHINO/WARNER
7/10

A youthful Suede trawled the insalubrious underbelly of English tenement life, emerging with so many glamorously nihilistic tales of heroic junkies, consensually abusive sex, and, well, apocalyptic snowfalls. But one could hardly be expected to keep turning out lines like, “As the smack cracks at your window / You wake up with a gun in your mouth.” Could they?

Brett Anderson’s gift for dissolute poetry is, apparently, without bound. And when on the shiver-inducing “Outsiders” he waxes rhapsodically on “bouquets of cellophane” and howls how “she puts her faith in the moment,” it’s with that piercingly visceral sense of life’s cheap, throwaway beauty for which we’ve always adored him. Elsewhere on Night Thoughts, the boys rise majestically to all that pompous poesie—the lyrical decadence of “When You Are Young” and “Pale Snow” (ah, the white stuff again!) incisively sharpened by the sort of grandiloquent, acutely metallic symphonies that were ever their stock in trade. And indeed, “Tightrope” simmers with enough convulsive, tormented theatrics to make Hamlet feel like an episode of Dora the Explorer.

Suede, surely, were the most unlikely of acts to reanimate the wanton, substance-addled serpents of their tender years. But, hey, who needs track marks when you’ve got the swagger? And, more importantly, the hooks to back it all up?

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