Suede - Barriers - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Suede - Barriers

by Rich Morris Rating:6 Release Date:2013-01-20

A mildly more predictable comeback here, in a couple of ways. Following a solid couple of years gigging, Suede Mark II (or non-Butler Suede, or inessential Suede), are back with a song which sounds very much like Suede, which is to say, it sounds like Bowie on a mildly uninspired day. Since, with ironic timing surely arranged by whichever Hindu diety sponsors pouting old glam dames, Bowie himself is back with 'Where Are Now?', the question is, of course, do we really need a Suede comeback at all?

Personally, the answer is a polite 'no', especially since 'Barriers' is no 'Trash'. Rather than being a queasy, sugar-rush thrill, it's stately, more (and I'm guessing this was probably brought out in the single's 'tone meeting' or whatever) 'elder-statesman-like', which means it sounds like 00s Bowie. Ah, g'on then, it's not too bad. It's not as flatly 'will this do' lackluster as The Tears or, you know, post-'Trash' Suede.

Notably, Brett Anderson steers clear of any mention of flash pigs running with the glam trash under a neon petrol sky, so at least Suede-haters can't laugh at him like they used to. But it's far from amazing, or essential. It's not on a par with 'Where Are We Now?' or 'After You', the disco-tastic comeback from Suede's erstwhile Britpop nerd-perv peers Pulp.

If Suede are really gonna make a decent fist at this comeback malarkey, someone should point out to Anderson that Suede we generally at their best when they weren't being 'epic' or 'anthemic'. 'My Insatiable One', 'The Living Dead', 'The Beautiful Ones' - spiky, sad, witty little guitar-pop gems. Not that I expect that brilliant Suede to ever come back. I genuinely don't think the songwriting bit of Brett's brain survived the 90s intact.

Comments (2)

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Heard this on the radio today, pretty non-descript stuff. They're going for a kind of U2 type epic, which is an odd thing for them to go for but they fail anyway. Think a band gets to a certain point and they think, "we've gotta sound more...

Heard this on the radio today, pretty non-descript stuff. They're going for a kind of U2 type epic, which is an odd thing for them to go for but they fail anyway. Think a band gets to a certain point and they think, "we've gotta sound more 'mature and more anthemic'" and it ends up sounding really dull...........

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Exactly! Plus the lyrics and sound are obviously inspired by Bowie's "Heroes" to a degree that's a little pathetic, even for a band known for shameless Bowie references. But yeah, it's main problem is that it's just so... Blah.

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