bloodsports promo and reviews

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 20 Mar 2013, 20:54

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/l ... -1-5502724
Album review: Bloodsports by Suede
By Duncan Seaman
15 March 2013 15:54
It’s hard to believe it’s 21 years since Brett Anderson and co arrived, courting controversy with their fascinations with the seedier side of suburbia.
The strong influence of glam rock, and in particular David Bowie, revived the British guitar scene, paving the way for the likes of Oasis, Blur and a slew of other Britpop bands.
After a period apart they have regrouped – without guitarist Bernard Butler – but with their most compelling album in years.
Opening at pace with the blistering Barriers followed by the Smiths-like Snowblind and the swooningly romantic It Starts and End With You, it’s clear that Anderson has very much rediscovered his voice as a writer as well as a singer.
The backing is robust throughout, with Richard Oakes’ guitar lines ringing through this 10-song collection.
For the Strangers is a classic Suede, all soaring riffs and urban alienation. Simon Gilbert’s thundering glam-rock beat powers on Hit Me; What Are you Not Telling Me is a swirling ballad with gorgeous layered harmonies in the chorus.
Potent stuff.
Rating: 4/5

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 20 Mar 2013, 20:55

http://soundblab.com/content/content/view/id/5092
Review
Reviewed by Greg Spencer
8 / 10
Suede - Bloodsports
Suede are back, with Bloodsports, they bring with them that same vitality, that same darkness, and that same beauty which Brett Anderson and co delivered throughout the 1990s. A first album in 11 years can be a daunting thing but it never feels like any sort of chore. Far from it, as you listen to the album and the time flies, as though Suede never went away.
Bloodsports proves Suede can still produce amazing music, 'Snowblind' demonstrates Anderson's voice is still as awe-inspiring as it was when the band were in their prime. The guitars glide along and sizzle their way through in that enthralling Nick Cave style which never feels outdated. The majority of the songs on the album are just as engrossing, they have a really delicate quality which makes the album a serious joy to listen to and be captivated by.
'Hit Me' has a real sing-along factor and gives the record vibrancy. These are the sort of songs Suede are best at. As the album progresses there is a sense of it losing steam a little, but really who cares? 'Sometimes I Feel I'll Float Away' may be somewhat lacklustre, but there's still real soul in the underbelly of every inch of this record.
For a comeback record, Bloodsports is a triumph. If 'Laughter Lines' doesn't have you in half-tears at least, there's something wrong with you. This album has a bit of everything really, from the upbeat and rockier anthems which will be instant hits with people who embrace the record, to the ballads that will grow on people and remain haunting in that classic Suede way.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 20 Mar 2013, 20:56

http://www.gigwise.com/news/80358/suede ... f-reunions
20th March 2013 by Ashley Clements | Photos by WENN.com
Suede star Brett Anderson: 'I'm not really a big fan of reunions'
'99 per cent of people do it for the wrong reasons'
Suede frontman Brett Anderson has admitted that he isn't 'a big fan' of bands reforming and feels that most groups only do it for 'nostalgia or money.'
Of course, Anderson realises the irony of his comments as Suede have reunited to release their first album for 11 years, but the crucial difference he believes is whether bands return to make new music or 'just bang through the old hits'.
Speaking exclusively to Gigwise, Anderson reveals: "It sounds slightly contradictory and slightly ironic, but I'm not really a big fan of reunions.
"I think 99 per cent of people get it wrong and they do it for nostalgia or money. It's very hard to re-capture the energy and spontaneity that put you there in the first place.
"I think people get very excited about the idea of reunions, but the reality of it is often a let down."
Acts such as Blur and Pulp from a similar era to Suede have reformed, but have avoided fully committing to releasing an album worth of new material. Anderson feels hiS band can't be put in the same bracket as their nineties peers as Suede are more interested in writing new music.
When asked if there were any bands he wished hadn't reformed, Anderson gave an honest response.
He says: "All of them, to be honest. I don't wish anyone ill or anything and we reformed so it sounds hypocritical. Everyone believes their own reasons for doing things which is totally cool, but I'm just more excited about hearing new music by new bands or new music by old bands.
"The idea of someone reforming just to play their old hits it doesn't interest me at all. If they are going to reform and make new music then that's another thing. "All these bands that I'm really fond of from the past, I'm quite happy for them to stay in the past. "Just banging through the hits from years ago, I don't see the point."
Suede's new album, Bloodsports is out now and the band will be playing their first UK date of the year at London's Alexandra Palace on 30 march. For more information visit Gigwise Gig Tickets.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 21 Mar 2013, 21:20

http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/3 ... aged-Suede
Brett Anderson: 'I sabotaged Suede'
Singer BRETT ANDERSON has confessed he deliberately provoked his bandmates into breaking up SUEDE after the group began to resemble a doomed romance.
March 20, 2013
The Trash hitmakers split in 2003, a year after the release of their critically-panned fifth album A New Morning, but they stunned fans in 2010 by reuniting for a series of comeback gigs and they released new record Bloodsports on Monday (18Mar13).
The Britpop musicians have since admitted they regret releasing A New Morning, and now Anderson has revealed he engineered the 2003 split as he knew it was time for the band to break up.
He tells NME magazine, "I knew the band should finish, but it was like when you want to split up with someone but you're too scared to do it, so you act really badly and force the decision on them. I didn't have the guts to just split the band up, so I acted as badly as possible.
"It was a bit like sabotage. I remember looking back and thinking, for every decision we made, 'Would Suede do this? If the answer's yes, then don't do it; if the answer's no, then do it.' There was a really twisted desire to undermine everything we'd built up."

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 21 Mar 2013, 21:22

http://www.leedsstudent.org/2013-03-20/ ... post%22%7D
Music: Album Review: Suede – Bloodsports
After such a long time out of the game, most returning artists would opt for caution and conservatism on a comeback album on the reasonably safe assumption that their time had been and gone, and that such an album should be used as an excuse to break out all the old hits on the accompanying tour. The Verve’s tepid Forth leaps to mind. As authors of several outstanding hit singles in the 1990s and often credited with kicking off the movement known as ‘Britpop’, Suede more than most could have been expected to play it safe. But Bloodsports, their first album in 11 years, is a pleasant surprise for long-term fans dispirited by singer Brett Anderson’s pointless solo career.
The band themselves said that their new material would sound like a cross between 1994’s flawed masterpiece Dog Man Star and the radio-friendly commercial success of 1996’s Coming Up. While it falls well short of this rather bold ambition, Bloodsports is a trim, polished collection of ten FM-rock bullets that displays twice the energy and focus of many new bands. The heroic riff of single ‘It Starts And Ends With You’ and the skyscraping drama of opener ‘Barriers’ are the best illustrations. The glamorous yet trashy hooks of ‘Snowblind’ and ‘Sabotage’ tap straight back into the commercial successes of prime-time Suede. At no point does the band veer into the experimental territory of 1999’s ill-advised Head Music, but while this is a sound decision there is often too little variation. After a while the smooth, shiny production becomes slightly wearisome – the fuzzy introspection of ‘What Are You Not Telling Me?’ is the only deviation – but the real story here is surely how revitalised Suede sound. Bloodsports finally rights the wrong of 2002’s criminally dreadful A New Morning and sees one of the best bands of the 1990s crown their legacy in fine style.
7/10
words: Ed Biggs

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 21 Mar 2013, 21:23

http://www.nme.com/news/suede/69323
March 21, 2013 11:32
Robbie Williams lays into Suede and Britpop bands – then apologises
Singer claims 'any quarter-decent three-chord knobheads could get a deal in the '90s'
Robbie Williams has criticised Suede, saying that any "quarter-decent" band of the Britpop era could get signed.
The comments came after Brett Anderson of Suede criticised pop music in a recent interview, saying that there "has always been crap pop music" and that the current popularity of boyband One Direction comes as a result of record labels creating stars by committee. Williams took exception to the claim by the frontman and wrote a passionate defence of pop music, as well as attacking Britpop bands, on his blog.
Typing in block capitals, Robbie Williams wrote: "Any quarter-decent three-chord knobheads could and did get a deal in the '90s. I won't name names because it would be unfair on... Echobelly, Shed 7, Symposium, Menswear, Sleeper, Hurricane Number 1, Ride, The Bluetones, Northern Uproar, Chapterhouse, Curve, Salad, Adorable, Cud, Spacehog, Kula Shaker, The Audience, Powder, King Maker and Geneva." Geneva came in for particular criticism with Williams calling them "sub-Suede" and adding: "Can you imagine?"
Williams continued: "Should I go on? Cos I could and they sure fucking did. There were a few special indie bands then just as there are in every generation and just as some pop bands are useless, some are magnificent. I feel sorry for the people who are too bigoted to appreciate the latter. The world's a lot more exciting with One Direction in it and more hearts will genuinely race at a new 1D album than they ever have or will at any Suede album in any period."
However, the 'Rudebox' singer has since backtracked on his criticism of Suede and posted a second blog post shortly afterwards which states: "It would appear that I've gone off on a tangent not entirely created by Mr Brett Anderson of pop combo Suede. It won't be the last time this happens and it felt good to get it off my chest. Thank you Brett, Suede's new album 'Bloodsports' out now." He adds: "It's good too."
Robbie Williams released his latest solo album 'Take The Crown' in 2012. 'Bloodsports' is Suede's first album since their 2002 release 'A New Morning'.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 21 Mar 2013, 21:23

http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/ ... anderson-2
Brett Anderson
On the trials of getting one’s band back together
ShortList meets Suede’s singer backstage before an intimate London gig to mark the release of their sixth album, Bloodsports. The singer looks flash in black with no hint of his Nineties leather, lace or satin. As the band pick up where they left off, he tells us how the music industry and the art of the frontman has changed in the decade since they split…
What was the turning point between the reunion gigs and writing new material?
The difficulty with reformed bands is they assume the magic is still there and don’t have to start again. I thought we had a lot to prove. The last Suede album was the weakest and I didn’t want to be complacent. We wrote new songs, played a gig in Russia, decided it wasn’t good enough and so started again.
Is it true you didn’t play big venues such as Wembley in the Nineties because you thought they were uncool?
It was partly because we couldn’t have done it right. Reluctance because it wasn’t cool, but it’s only recently we’ve learned how to do that sort of gig. You learn how to deal with crowds differently – how to fill that space.
Your new album is about the cycle of a relationship. There aren’t many concept albums any more – is that a sad change?
Oh definitely. It’s such a vital, incredible art form. It will never die. It will become less mainstream, but it will always be there. My favourite artists are album artists. Someone like Kate Bush made albums that had a path, that took you somewhere. Even if it’s not a lyrical narrative, all of my favourite albums, sonically, are in a ‘place’.
So which ‘place’ is Bloodsports in?
I am talking about life as it is now. It’s not a fantasy or a piece of fiction. It’s just a side of life that I choose to pick. It’s about a very real emotional landscape. I find it fascinating that within any relationship, however harmonious or successful, how two people react to each other is such a complex thing. You don’t know what the other person is thinking.
How has the writing process changed since the drug-fuelled days?
The most different thing isn’t the lack of drugs; it’s how you change as you get older. There’s a lot of nonsense written about the fact people can’t sing when they get older, but what is really hard is writing. Back in the day, songs just came. They flowed out of you, you couldn’t stop them – it was annoying, it kept you up at night.
What’s your biggest form of procrastination?
Answering emails. I’d love to go back to writing with an 8-track, but you just can’t do that these days.
What do you make of Bowie’s comeback?
I haven’t heard it yet.
Are you interested?
Of course. I’ve read a lot of hyperbole about it. People find it impossible to be objective about his work now. I’m a huge fan, but is [the new album] as good as Hunky Dory? I’d love it if it was, but I’d be surprised.
You used to be a very fancy man. How do you feel when you see pictures of yourself – ‘he needs a slap?’ or ‘I wish I still had that blouse?’
“Fancy” [laughs]. There was a dodgy phase. But everyone in the Nineties looked a bit strange.
You seem a little more sophisticated these days...
Well, I’m 45 years old. I’m not going to dress like I’m 20. The clothes I wore were from junk shops – they weren’t a fashion statement. It’s because I didn’t have any money. If you look at us in ’96 we looked quite sharp.
Do you think the art of the frontman has died out?
There is a change there. You don’t have outspoken frontmen any more. Now people know what’s expected when you’re in a rock band. I do lament that a little. When we started, the rules were still being written, things were shifting and you could get away with stuff you couldn’t get away with now. The music business has always been conservative.
What is your wildest memory of the early days?
I’m not one for anecdotes. No nice little stories, I’m afraid. Lots of serious wildness. Nasty little stories.
You always seem to distance yourself from Britpop. Why didn’t you fit into the Blur/Oasis scene?
Well I still always wear Union Jack underpants as a homage [laughs].
Are there any Britpop bands that you still have time for?
Do Primal Scream count as Britpop? They’re lovely people and they’ve carried on making great, really interesting music.
Britpop was full of smaller bands aping the bigger ones. Who were the biggest Suede rip-off merchants?
It’s easy to parody Suede, but it’s hard to rip us off. People who have told me Suede was an inspiration to them are Kele [Okereke] from Bloc Party and Jamie [Reynolds] from Klaxons; people who don’t even sound like Suede. They were inspired by an element they interpreted in their own way. That’s a lovely thing, rather than some band who just have our hair.
What’s on your rider now?
Fruit. Mainly limes. It used to be dwarves with trays of cocaine. Now we can’t bend down, so it’s normal-sized people.
Bloodsports is out now

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 22 Mar 2013, 06:35

http://www.contactmusic.com/album-revie ... loodsports
Suede - Bloodsports Album Review
Having completed a triumphant reunion victory lap of festivals all over the world, and the re-release of their entire back catalogue in commendably comprehensive and extensive reissue packages, the legendary Suede inevitably had to get to the gritty business of making a new album to keep them from reunion limbo, playing the likes of Animal Nitrate, Trash, The Beautiful Ones and Saturday Night every night for the rest of their lives. You get the sense that having stared down the barrel of their past for a few years, Suede knew they had to make an album that could stand next to their best work, and there were reports coming from the studio that they had scrapped their first draft entirely and started again. We will never know how close we came to never even hearing Bloodsports but, thankfully, after an 11 year wait, Suede are back with new material.
The question on my mind at least during the build-up to hearing Bloodsports was which direction Suede would go in. Would we get the spunky, trashy glamour of Coming Up, the gothic bombast and melodrama of Dog Man Star or even the cold, futuristic pop of the misfiring Head Music? The answer, it turns out, is that there are elements of all of Suede's five previous albums on show here but, mostly, Bloodsports is a confident rock album which is still recognisably, undeniably Suede.
You get the euphoric strains of Barriers, the angular swagger of Snowblind and the jubilant self-confidence of recent single It Starts And Ends With You. This is the most typically 'rock' Suede have sounded since Coming Up and it is a joy to hear them just letting rip in that classic Suede way.
Elsewhere on the album is the dark and moody synth work out of Sabotage and the gorgeously epic slow burner Sometime I Feel I'll Float Away, which was worth reuniting for on its own. The album tails off towards the end with the strange, atmospheric What Are You Not Telling Me, but we can forgive a band who should by all accounts be a little rusty one duffer against nine songs which are, at worst, solid and exciting.
Bloodsports then, is exactly the album that Suede needed to make. It is loud, aggressive, uncompromising and absolutely, defiantly Suede. Nobody else could have written these songs. Suede have done the almost impossible task of simultaneously looking back at the past while planting a foot firmly into the future and have taken care of this reunion in a truly authentic and credible fashion. There will never be another band quite like Suede, thank Goodness they're back.
Ben Walton

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 07:09

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/177 ... oodsports/
Suede - Bloodsports
By Stuart Berman - March 22, 2013 7.6
Given the reliability of 20-year nostalgia cycles, the reunion of Suede-- or, here in litigation-crazy America, the London Suede-- was inevitable. A new Suede album, however, was not. Mere months after the Britpop progenitors embarked upon a well-received greatest hits revue in 2011, frontman Brett Anderson had returned to his decade-long practice of releasing small-scale solo albums, while a concurrent, exhaustive reissue of Suede’s back catalogue seemingly confirmed the reunion’s retrospective impetus. And there was, of course, the nagging question of whether a new album was even necessary. After all, Suede were their generation’s Saturday night soundtrack to being young, being lost, and undergoing all the necessary preparations (cigarettes, alcohol, drugs of dubious origin) to ensure you leave behind a most exquisite corpse. What could Suede offer to their faithful now that, well into their sober 40s, they no longer represent any of these things?
For Bloodsports, their plan is not to simply recapture their past, but imagine an alternate course for it. Like their 2011 tour campaign, Bloodsports employs the band’s post-1995 line-up-- i.e., the one without Anderson’s formative songwriting partner-turned-nemesis, Bernard Butler. In the absence of Butler’s authoritative presence, Suede’s albums sometimes veered toward the slight and frivolous, the tension and bravado that fuelled their definitive singles giving way to a certain self-satisfied complacence. But if the relationship between Anderson and Butler’s replacement, Richard Oakes, was decidedly less tumultuous, on Bloodsports, the guitarist’s presence has an undeniably reinvigorating effect on the singer.
Throughout Bloodsports, Suede consistently strikes the balance between decadence and elegance-- a “world wrapped in tinsel,” swathed in “lipstick traces” and “second-hand furs”-- that marked their signature work. But where Anderson once aligned himself with his fellow misfits, on Bloodsports he’s seeking more meaningful, one-on-one connections. Though it climaxes with a bleacher-baiting gang chorus, the Joshua Tree-toppling salvo “Barriers” is, at its core, an intimate, open-hearted address from someone who wants his relationships to be measured in years rather than nights. And it gets Bloodsports off to a terrifically rousing start; the succeeding “Snowblind” and “It Starts and Ends With You” both come loaded with the sort of do-or-die urgency and knockout choruses to earn retroactive placement on 2010’s Best of Suede compilation.
It’s fitting that Suede are staging their comeback the same month as their patron saint, David Bowie (with whom Anderson famously shared an NME cover back in 1993). But where Bowie spends much of The Next Day sardonically addressing his extended absence and his own mortality, Andrerson hurtles himself into Bloodsports with the stern-faced intent of someone who is grateful to have been granted a second chance and determined not to let it go to waste. And if his outsize passion isn’t enough to push every big-tent ballad over the top (like the middling “Sabotage”) or sell you on the odd underwritten chorus (e.g., “Come on and hit me/ With your mystery”), he keeps the frisson flowing well into Bloodsports’ more atmospheric and despairing second act. As the wide-eyed romanticism heard in the album’s opening stretch gives way to a vicious cycle of emotional dependency (“Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away”), betrayal (the eerily desolate “What Are You Not Telling Me?”), and predatory, restraining-order-worthy behaviour (the ominous “Always”), the band respond with their weightiest, most calamitous music since side two of 1994’s darkly epic Dog Man Star.
But if Bloodsports stays faithful to Suede’s signature sound, it represents a refreshing evolution in spirit. This is not the place to go to indulge your student-disco nostalgia; rather than try to swagger back onto the scene and try to out-snort men half their age, Suede shrewdly draw our attention to those youthful indiscretions-- ego, insecurity, obsession-- that we never seem to outgrow.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 07:09

http://www.walesartsreview.org/bloodsports-by-suede/
March 2013
Bloodsports by Suede
by John Lavin
The place: St George’s Church, Brighton, 2008. The event: a tiny Brett Anderson solo show in support of his then recently released collection for piano and ‘cello, Wilderness. Having stepped out from the vestry door, Anderson immediately slipped in behind the piano and proceeded to play one Wilderness track after another, in quick succession. It was a committed performance but the singer, usually such a dramatic performer, appeared as restrained as I’d ever seen him.
This was also the case with the new songs which were deliberately minimal and full of space, even if they did contain such classically Anderson-esque lyrics as ‘Didn’t I clean her shit’? and ‘You ride London’s wilderness’. You started to think that he could have maybe carved a new career for himself as a lo-fi indie solo artist, the kind beloved of the Brighton hipsters who would usually have filled that venue but who were largely conspicuous by their absence that night. And then, after a brief intermission, he was back behind the piano to play a series of Suede songs.
This might ordinarily have been the fan-pleasing section that the serious artist hates. For Anderson, however, it was clearly the main event and it quickly became apparent that he was still as committed to Suede as he ever was. He performed a long set of more or less every fan-favourite ballad Suede ever wrote, from ‘High Rising’ through to underrated New Morning track, ‘Oceans’. It was a performance of remarkable intensity, bordering on anger. Anger, perhaps, that he had become a forgotten star, more or less written out of history by both the music press and the music-buying-public. And truly he filled the tiny church hall with the same violence a freshly trapped tiger might reserve for a cage.
Indeed, he filled the small space with his voice and his presence in the same way that you imagine his antecedents Bowie or Kate Bush might also have done in similar circumstances. When he flung his head around to face the audience and deliver the final chorus of the night’s penultimate song, ‘He’s Gone’; a previously lacklustre ballad from Head Music; he even resembled Bush a little, his fringe flying, his whole being given over to the performance of the song. And then, as though he physically couldn’t help himself, he asked everyone to leave their pews and come to front of the stage for one last song: a decidedly un-hip, mass sing-along of ‘Trash’.
It seemed to me that Brett Anderson the star was reborn that night and that that elusive Performance-alluding ‘demon’ he had spoken about losing when he disbanded Suede had finally been rediscovered. Afterwards he went on to make his best, most imaginative solo album, Slow Attack, and then, at the request of the Teenage Cancer Trust, he reformed Suede for a one off charity gig at the Albert Hall. The event was characterised by standing ovations that Anderson, again delivering a performance of inspired intensity, wasn’t shy to lap up. Within days it was announced that they would play more shows before, slowly but surely, talk began to grow that they would make another album.
And so, perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a terribly big surprise, now that that album, Bloodsports, is finally here, that it is as intense and downright inspired a record as you are likely to hear all year. ‘Barriers’, the first track to be lifted from it, while a good enough song, didn’t entirely suggest the creative re-birth that this record represents. Coming in on decidedly ‘80s stadium rock guitars and with lyrics which veer from the ridiculous (‘Aniseed kisses and lipstick traces / Lemonade sipped in Belgian rooms’) to the intriguing (who are the ‘they’ who may or may not love the song’s dedicatee ‘The way, the way I loved you’?), it all ends on the kind of mass whoah-oh-ohs that characterise early U2 and early-U2-pilfering-Coldplay. It’s pretty shameless but when you’ve been out of the limelight for this long maybe it doesn’t hurt to be a little shameless.
What it also does is suggest the album that Bloodsports in one sense most resembles: U2’s All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The album they made after the commercially (by their standards) disastrous Zooropa and Pop albums. Those albums had been characterised by varyingly successful attempts at electronic experimentalism (much like Suede’s Head Music) and ATYCLB went back to the sound of their very first records, Boy, October and War; to the whoah-oh-ohs which have so infected today’s tired modern rock scene. But by imbuing the record with emotion, artistry and even a kind of contemporaneity, they managed to make a genuinely inspirational album which focused purely on songwriting rather than gimmicks.
Bloodsports succeeds in repeating this trick by essentially returning to what Suede do best: writing literate, subversive pop songs with unusual key changes and dramatic Lahndahn vocals. Indeed what is perhaps most important about Bloodsports is that the lyrics are by and large fantastic. Part of the problem with the last two Suede albums was that the lyrics were uniformly terrible. With Head Music there was the infamous ‘Savoir Faire’ lyric, ‘She live in a house / She stupid as a mouse’, but in fact there were far worse offenders than that.
Indeed, to be fair to Anderson, those lines were clearly intended to be of the cat-sat-on-the-mat variety (and ‘Savoir Faire’ remains one of their few successful attempts at electronic experimentation); it was more the dull retreads of ‘nowhere towns’ and ‘shaking the scene obscene’ that really galled. With A New Morning, however, there was more the sense that Anderson had, post-crack addiction, lost all confidence as a writer and was either trying too hard to be literary (‘It’s the way you don’t read Camus or Brett Easton Ellis’), or was just helplessly regurgitating lyrical clichés (‘Your smile is your credit card / And your currency is your love’ etc.).
But while ‘Barriers’ may not completely put to bed the ghosts of the past, ‘Snowblind’ does so with considerable aplomb. Opening with a mammoth Richard Oakes guitar riff, which resembles a faster, grungier take on The Smith’s ‘Girl Afraid,’ Anderson sings of the rush of doomed love with the kind of gusto last seen on Bernard Butler-era songs like ‘Stay Together’ and ‘Heroine’. ‘We are struck like matches / We’re too beautiful to really care what’s right’, he begins with winning insouciance, before delivering one of the most soaring choruses either incarnation of this band has ever written: ‘This love is lifting her / This love is lifting you / For one snowblind moment too’.
Next up is first single proper, ‘It Starts and Ends with You’, one of the few songs to shamelessly echo Butler’s playing style. Despite, or perhaps because of this, it is tremendous fun and disregarding the weird lyrical clanger, ‘like a hairline crack in a radiator /leaking life’, it neatly sums up the sheer helplessness of falling in love: ‘I shout out but it just spins faster / I’d crawl up but my knees are water / …Spit in the wind because too much is not enough / It starts and ends with you’. Indeed, one of the refreshing aspects of this album is the total absence of machismo or misogyny in Anderson’s lyrics, something which twenty years on from the era of Riot Grrrl and the androgynous stylings of Suede’s debut album, has hardly been eradicated from the indie rock world in the way that it might have been (let alone eradicated from the Chris Brown / Rihanna-troubled world of mainstream pop). Who else would describe falling in love with a woman in such a supposedly womanly way? So that it makes it hard for him to breathe? So that it makes it impossible for him to leave because his knees are like water?
‘Sabotage’ and ‘For the Strangers’ were debuted live last year but it is only upon hearing the recorded versions that it becomes clear that these are the two songs that most successfully fulfill that All That You Can’t Leave Behind blueprint and, as such, represent instant additions to the classic Suede canon. ‘Sabotage’ begins with heavy – admittedly rather goth – bass and drums but quickly reveals itself to be a spiritual cousin of ‘Pantomime Horse’, with all of the undulating guitars and windswept romanticism that that comparison implies. Lyrically it takes the Bloodsports of the album’s title to its logical conclusion, as the song appears to be about a sadomasochistic relationship (again, with the woman being the dominating force). When I first heard the live version of the song, the line ‘her touch is like a raven’s shadow’, almost made me flinch, it seemed so gauche. But in the context of lyrics like, ‘No barriers, no boundaries for her’, and ‘I smile as the rope cuts through me’, in fact, it makes quite a lot of delightfully sleazy sense. As the song reaches its crescendo with what is easily the most luminous guitar part Richard Oakes has ever committed to tape, Anderson repeatedly sings ‘her will is done’ with a quite deliberately prayer-like reverence, before concluding with the sly wink of ‘and I will be done’.
‘For the Strangers’, as the title suggests, is essentially Suede doing Bowie but when you can write a Bowie song better than anything on The Next Day, then you have to ask, does this really matter? Anderson has spoken about the decision to do what they do best on this album, and in a way, sounding like a grungey Bowie-Smiths hybrid is what Suede have always done best. Over a lovely insistent melody, the simplest lyrics on the album – ‘And it’s ever so clear / And it’s ever so plain / For the strangers’ – document that moment in a relationship when there can be no doubt, either to yourselves, or to anybody else, that you are completely demented about one another.
Track six pulls off the same trick that Coming Up did with ‘Beautiful Ones’, by reserving the albums catchiest, most radio friendly song for the second half of the record. ‘Hit Me’ contains la-la-las, guitars that recall both Brian May and The Edge, and a sing-a-long chorus that, once again, appears to extol the virtues of S&M. ‘You feel the scratches and scars, you feel the parts of me we call ours’, sings Anderson. ‘Come on and hit me….’ Along with ‘Sabotage’ it’s the kind of subversive single he hasn’t really written since ‘Animal Nitrate’, or well, ‘Beautiful Ones’.
If the sequencing of the first six songs of Bloodsports resembles that of Coming Up in that it is an all-out assault of pop hooks and colossal choruses, then the final four songs deliberately resemble the closing sequence of Dog Man Star. That sequence which started with ‘Black or Blue’ and culminated in ‘The Asphalt World’ and ‘Still Life’. Considering these are some of the greatest songs Anderson and original guitarist Butler ever wrote it’s a pretty brave move and certainly, on the first couple of listens, it feels as though they may have bitten off more than they can chew, because the album’s pace drops alarmingly and without any immediate reward.
However these songs repay repeated listens. ‘Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away’ and ‘What are you not telling me’? chart the beginning of the demise of a relationship, the former detailing the beginning of obsessive co-dependency, the latter jealousy and unfaithfulness. Both songs successfully recall the theatrics of Dog Man Star but also Kate Bush at her most psychedelic. ‘I count to ten as the race begins round your hairpin bends’, sings Anderson, as the album rushes to its tragic conclusion: the end of the relationship that began with such romantic fervour on ‘Snowblind’ and ‘It Starts and Ends….’ With its Doors-y organ and midsection rock wig-out, penultimate track ‘Always’, perhaps buckles under the weight of its ‘Asphalt World’ leanings (not to mention the fleeting return of clichéd Anderson to the lyrical fold). However, for all that it serves its function structurally: as the final demise of the relationship that the album charts, and as the storm before the calm of ‘Faultlines’; the album’s exquisite, Scott Walker-esque coda.
‘Is it birdsong or is it just the car alarms / Making us feel so young’? sings Anderson over a rippling piano melody that recalls Walker’s cover of ‘The Windows of the World’. If this were to be the last Suede album, as the band have occasionally suggested that it might be, then you really do feel that, in echoing the lyrics to the first song on their first record (‘So Young’), he has found the right way with which to put things to rest. However, considering how rejuvenated the band sound on this album it would really be a great pity if this was to be their last hurrah. And considering how much Anderson appears to live, breathe and exude Suede from every fibre of his being, it is extremely unlikely too.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 07:10

http://www.artrocker.tv/albums/article/ ... loodsports
Suede / Bloodsports
A return to form on all fronts
By Bill Williams
*****
They could have dragged themselves around the circuit a couple of times, cashed in and parted ways once more with their credibility intact, but Suede are back with their first offering since ‘A New Morning’. The thing about the comeback is that you really are putting your credibility on the line. We have seen the Sex Pistols, Van Halen and Michael Schumacher all make a hash of it over the years but equally we have also seen Pulp, Blur and Rocky pull it off. So the big question - what about Suede?
Stylish Artwork? Check. Ed Buller? Check. Full line-up? Argue amongst yourselves. The record opens with 'Barriers', made available for free download from the bands website earlier on in the year. It sets the scene with “Aniseed kisses and lipstick traces” and kicks into a heart wrenching chorus “Will they love you the way I loved you? We jumped over the barriers” and we find in this strong opener that Suede means business.
'Snowblind' heads for darker territory and provides a heavier moment on 'Bloodsports' with a bridge that could be akin to My Chemical Romance in its dramatic theatrical transition and overall theme. We lighten up a little (but only a little) on lead single 'It Starts And Ends With You' which kicks in with a trademark plastic eighties indie pop guitar, harking back to the days of 'Beautiful Ones' and leaping into a fist pumping chorus which stands its ground against any previous Suede hit. 'Sabotage' and 'Hit Me' provide moments that are closer to the 'Head Music' era with the former shattering the earth beneath it with heavy bass breaking through the swell of synthesizers.
In the first six songs we are treated to classic Suede, hit after hit, each different from the last but clearly sounding like Suede. It is everything the typical fan could possibly want from the band. In the latter half it gets tricky. The pace slows on 'What Are You Not Telling Me?' The dense open space would leave Brett Anderson acapella but for the ringing synthesizers, it easily slips into 'Always' which documents the break up in this concept and provides one of the records’ finest moments with its traumatic breakdown into a delay heavy final chorus and outro. 'Faultines' wraps up the record with its classically edged piano sounding very much bittersweet. ''The palace of cards you built me is all just paper now'' displays that trait with prominence.
If you are expecting ‘Bloodsports’ to knock you off of your feet on the first listen you’ll end up disappointed, it's not that simple a record. To talk in these terms you would have to say it instead moves the landscape around you until one day you find yourself floored by its brilliance. Brett Anderson has given ten of his finest lyrical moments to date in ‘Bloodsports’ and with a maturity in the musicianship that displays such selflessness for the sake of the record, Suede have bestowed us with their most consistent, focused and moving record to date.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 19:54

http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/03/d ... -man-star/
Dusting ‘Em Off: Suede – Dog Man Star
By Jon Hadusek on March 23rd, 2013 in Dusting 'Em Off, Features
Britain, 1992. The kids are on drugs. The clubs are blaring house music. Across the Atlantic, everybody’s wearing flannel and bashing their heads in synchronized catharsis. Here, they get high and dance. Worlds apart.
For the past three years, the country’s antsy, overactive music press has been captivated by The Stone Roses — a group of mop-top youngsters who share an equal love for ‘60s psychedelia and rhythmic dance music. Once hailed as the saviors of British rock, the band has become idle, bogged down by contract disputes and creative hiccups. Ruthless and uncompromising, the journalists rip apart the Roses and point their crosshairs elsewhere, in search of a new band, fresh blood.
Melody Maker makes the first move, putting some androgynous-looking lads known as Suede on its April ‘92 issue. The headline: “The best new band in Britain.” And they haven’t even released a single yet, much less a full-length album. It was at this exact moment that the Britpop fad/craze/hype-machine began.
Flashforward to 1993. Suede have ridden that hype to a No. 1 charting debut album and a string of successful singles and favorable reviews. Frontman Brett Anderson, with his flamboyant whine and groomed appearance, courts an infinite amount of David Bowie comparisons. Guitarist and songwriter Bernard Butler’s lavish compositions are also quite glam, though his jangly guitar cites The Smiths. While somewhat derivative, Suede’s early output is sharp, promiscuous, and theatrical.
Then Blur and Oasis come along and its Britpop this, Britpop that. The press is hurling its tentacles in every direction, and tightening its grip on what it’s already latched onto. Anderson retreats, denouncing the scene — one that he’d later call “horribly twisted” — and sets out to make a record that is decidedly un-Britpop, Suede’s sophomore album, Dog Man Star.
Pompous. Pretentious. Self-indulgent. Overblown. Overproduced. Dog Man Star is all of these things because it was written to be all of these things. The typical music consumer, myself included, winces at such attributes. But with this record, the melodrama is executed with a self-awareness that makes sense when Anderson explains it.
“British journalists wanted this album to be this standard-bearer for British rock, but I’m not anyone’s pawn,” Anderson told The New York Times. “People always expect me to write songs about council flats and corned beef and living in Leyton in 1945 and other very British stuff. I just decided, well, I’m going to write about James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, which are the last things anybody expected me to write about.”
Anderson did most of this writing alone in a secluded Victorian mansion. No bandmates, no cutthroat journalists. Under the influence of hard drugs and hallucinogenics, Anderson expounded on the theatrics of Suede’s debut and made those theatrics the thesis. His lyrical subjects became exclusively tragic figures — the addicted teenager in “Heroin”, the street dwelling prostitute in “The Asphalt World”, the aforementioned James Dean in “Daddy’s Speeding”.
Butler’s compositions aligned with Anderson’s noir imagery. A competent blues guitarist, Butler’s fretwork is expressive, and here, it’s expressively sad. For every major chord, there are two minors. For every high note, there are three low ones. When his guitar is muted, string arrangements and orchestras take over. Such elements are most prominent on “The Wild Ones”. Butler’s guitar churns and churns as Anderson puts on his best Scott Walker impression: “We’ll shine like the morning and sin in the sun, oh if you stay / We’ll be the wild ones, running with the dogs today.”
Butler’s musicianship and Anderson’s ambition belonged together. As artists, they were the perfect couple, sharing an obsessive-compulsive vision for their music. But as people, they hated one another. The introverted guitar nerd in Butler couldn’t stand Anderson’s rockstar-fashionista behavior (and vice-versa). Sensing this tension, the UK press turned the feud into the stuff of tabloids. Butler was quoted saying things like “Brett drives me insane,” which in turn made Anderson angry. The tension boiled. After a disagreement concerning producer Ed Buller’s involvement with Dog Man Star, Butler temporarily left Suede. When he tried to return, Anderson locked the door to the recording studio and left Butler’s instruments out in the street. The guitarist recorded the remainder of his parts alone and never performed with Suede again.
Under all these circumstances, how did Dog Man Star survive? Even now, it sounds so cohesive, as if Butler composed every note to be the aural equivalent of Anderson’s every word. They foiled each other; without these sweeping arrangements, Anderson’s tales of Hollywood romance would have been exposed as dramatic schlock. Flip that statement around for Butler’s music, which would’ve come off as obscenely overwritten had it not soundtracked such pretensions.
More recently, Anderson has compared Suede’s latest album, Bloodsports, to Dog Man Star. Since severing ties with Butler, he hasn’t written a single song that’s half as powerful as “The Asphalt World”, or a ballad quite as affecting as “Still Life”. With skepticism in my voice, I ask: Is an older and wiser Brett Anderson — one who isn’t rebelling against the status quo, one who isn’t sequestered in a mansion, one who isn’t collaborating with an artistically gifted guitarist — capable of another Dog Man Star? Go decide for yourself.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 19:55

http://newsok.com/music-review-the-lond ... nes_widget
Music Review: (The London) Suede, “Bloodsports” (Fontana)
Almost as soon as Suede became 1993's “Best Band in Britain,” the neo glam-rock band was undone trying to prove it was worthy of all the music magazine accolades. Suede lost its greatest musical asset when guitarist Bernard Butler left after Suede's breathtaking first two albums, “Suede” and 1994's “Dog Man Star,” and for the next eight years, Suede became the poster children for diminishing returns. Brett Anderson's vocals never lost their Bowiesque quaver and drama, but later singles such as “Positivity” and “She's In Fashion” were blandly pleasant compared to “Animal Nitrate” or “The Drowners.” It certainly did not help the group's stateside fortunes when an American lounge singer calling herself Suede forced the group to rename itself The London Suede in the U.S.
On “Bloodsports,” a surprisingly vital reunion album after 11 years of inactivity, the band still wears that prefix like a shock collar, but Anderson and his mates have, at long last, made the album that should have come after “Dog Man Star.” Guitarist Richard Oakes and keyboardist Neil Codling build a great anthem around Anderson on the opening “Barriers,” a martial stadium stomper signaling there will be no half-measures on “Bloodsports,” and it holds remarkably, miraculously true. Suede delivers two more great dramatic rockers, the minor key “Snowblind” and big, beautiful “It Starts and Ends With You,” then deploys “Sabotage,” the first in a series of excellent ballads.
When Anderson sings “Hit me with your majesty” on the centerpiece rocker “Hit Me,” he is about to fire that majesty back at the listeners with a set of huge, scene-stealing ballads. “Bloodsports” find Suede stomping all over expectations and confidently refusing to be graded on a curve.
— George Lang

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 19:56

http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/reviews ... rts-121279
Suede – Bloodsports
By Charlie Ivens, 22 March 2013
8/10
Early in 2003, with punk-funk in their ears, everyone quietly stopped talking about Suede. Sometime between the release of fifth album A New Morning late the previous year, and CDs of that famously iffy work appearing in portentous metre-high towers on the floor of Fopp, selling – or rather pointedly not selling – for £1 a pop, even the most ardent apologists gave up. Suede were spent, exhausted, a dried up, drugged up, hollowed out husk. Suede had become their own picture of Dorian Gray, and the only dignified course of action was to walk away.
Listening back to A New Morning in the name of research – and truly, that’s the only reason to go there, like digging out that box from the bottom of the wardrobe, you know the one – throws a necessary light on Suede’s unexpectedly glorious return to the stage in 2010. A one-off charity benefit at the Royal Albert Hall caught fans and critics alike on the hop with a captivating performance. It was so bullishly assured everyone almost forgot about The Tears, Suede singer Brett Anderson’s doomed 2005 attempt to rekindle the creative flame with the band’s original guitarist Bernard Butler. Almost.
Despite the enduring memories of that show, given the quiet three years since, the smile-inducing familiarity and sheer oomph evident in Bloodsports still come as a shock. It takes exactly 65 seconds of opener ‘Barriers’ for guitarist Richard Oakes to do his tremolo-bending twangy trick (admittedly one co-opted from Butler), and with so many tics in their sonic sweetie jar – most obviously Anderson’s signature cracking falsetto and eccentric way with a lyrical image – the first handful of songs make it clear that Suede are taking no chances with a doughty new tack.
‘Snowblind’ follows as an angry negative to triumphant 1996 classic ‘Trash’, and ‘It Starts And Ends With You’ – standout lyric, “I fall to the floor like my strings are cut” – continues the most muscular, confident and just plain booming art-rock opening salvo since the first Franz Ferdinand album. (In fact, at various points it feels like Franz have been kindly keeping Suede’s seats warm for the last few years.) Much of the credit for the feel of the album must go to Oakes and keyboard player Neil Codling, whose respective strengths – meaty string-wrangling and floaty synth-coaxing – can be plotted from song to song.
There’s a touch of The Cure‘s epic melancholia in ‘Sabotage’, and bassist Mat Osman belatedly gets his moment in the sun during ‘For The Strangers’, a bottom-end dirge with a flag-waving chorus tailor-made for festival crowd wailing – not for the first time. It’s simply tremendously heartening to hear Suede sounding so full of themselves – but for all the Proustian callbacks, this is unmistakably a different band. New Suede are mature, pragmatic, measured, with little of the swaggering outrageousness or pugnacious, tilting-at-windmills chutzpah that made Old Suede so compelling.
But just when we’re starting to crack, and wish for the arrival of a daft ‘Elephant Man’ aberration or a ludicrous Paracetamol-shitting episode to enliven proceedings, another long-absent Suede trope hoves into view and saves the moment. ‘Hit Me’ is a glammed-up monster of a tune, with unexpected chord leaps and a ballsy turn by Anderson, underpinned by drummer Simon Gilbert’s gleeful thwacking. “Come on and hit me/With your majesty” – self-aware as ever, he lingers lugubriously on that last word like a defiant adolescent – and then a preposterous bout of trademark “La la la-la laaaaa”s punch through the fabric, and the urge to grin and pull mock-dramatic faces is overwhelming.
The final third of Bloodsports takes a deliberate turn into more introspective territory, as the pace slows and the post-euphoric doubt kicks in with force. “And I need you more than you need to be needed/So I sign my will one stab at a time” intones Anderson on ‘Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away’, and the tone keeps drifting inexorably downwards. We’re deep into the foggy Dog Man Star-era atmospherics now, and ‘What Are You Not Telling Me?’ shows that for all their gung-ho intentions, Suede just can’t resist attempting an eyes-wide-shut dive into eerie, Talk Talk-esque soundscape terrain.
‘Always’ is Bloodsports’ only real mis-step, nodding to Kate Bush melodrama but falling ploddingly short (perhaps significantly, it’s also the only song with a full-band writing credit). Thankfully, finale ‘Faultlines’ claws back much of the lost ground in last-ditch clods, Anderson lamenting tellingly that “The palace of cards you built for me/Is all just paper now” like he’s shit out of optimism – but at least it was a palace, eh? If ever there were a time for Suede to turn up and remind us it’s worth sifting through hateful politics and brain-melting pop culture for a splinter of brazen positivity, it’s today – as long as we don’t have to listen to that godforsaken single again.
Nobody really asked for Suede to grow up – or show up, for that matter. There’s long been a decent argument for letting sleeping dogs die, and enjoying the band’s glorious early days without worrying too much about what happened at the end. However, Bloodsports is such an assured return, as welcome as it is unforeseen, that Suede have succeeded in rewriting what might be deemed acceptable for a band preparing to enter middle age. Bloodsports isn’t without its flaws, but fallibility is often what separates the rote from the thrilling – and only an arsehole stands in the way of ambition.

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Re: bloodsports promo and reviews

Post by sunshine » 23 Mar 2013, 21:45

http://playbackstl.com/music-reviews/12 ... ltdfontana
London Suede | Bloodsports (Suede LTD/Fontana)
Written by Mike Rengel Sunday, 24 March 2013 15:09
Brett Anderson isn’t shy about his trademark romantic, druggy, sexual, often utterly ridiculous yet charming turns of phrases, both old and new.
All hail the return of the erstwhile champions of lusty, androgynous hedonism! The news of Suede’s reformation was initially slightly eyebrow-raising—it’s far too easy to imagine them restarting operations after a lengthy hiatus and quickly morphing into some sort of 1990s version of what became of ABC: a formerly vital band sadly dragging their haggard bones around the nostalgia circuit, most original members replaced by faceless hired guns. Mercifully, this isn’t the case with Bloodsports, the group’s first album in 11 years. While it doesn’t manage to reunite frontman Brett Anderson with estranged original guitarist/songwriter Bernard Butler (side project Tears on 2004’s one-off collaboration Here Come the Tears), it wisely brings back the main core of the “Mark II” lineup.
Bloodsports strongly hearkens back to the pinnacle of the post-Butler Suede (sadly dubbed London Suede here in the U.S.), 1996’s stylishly pop Coming Up, but with a slightly darker bent. There’s a sinister edge softer than the heroin-doused bleakness of much of the band’s 1992–95 original lineup heyday. But that’s not necessarily a deal breaker, or a totally unhealthy thing. Nor does it ever once feel like a carbon paper retread; there’s a sense of purpose to these 40 minutes, the work of a band with a plan to harness its dormant, yet intrinsic strengths.
Taut and lean, this record finds the entire band, especially Anderson, in fighting form; his voice hasn’t sounded this fluid and captivatingly lugubrious in a decade. Kicking his frightening turn-of-the-century crack habit was a helpful career move in that regard. He also isn’t shy about stocking Bloodsports with his trademark romantic, druggy, sexual, often utterly ridiculous yet charming turns of phrases, both old and new. (Get out your bingo card and look for any/all of the following: aerosol, lipstick, martyr, gutter, nuclear, motorway, greasepaint, etc.)
None of this newfound focus would matter if the tunes weren’t any cop. Reassuringly, they are, in spades. Big melodies abound, decorated with a healthy splattering of glam stomp. “Hit Me” and “Barriers” feel like effortless, instant singles (the likes of which Suede haven’t written for 15 years). There’s a widescreen confidence to these songs, and most of the entire album, like the on-horseback approach of hair gel and mascara-slathered conquering warriors.
The abundant co-writing credits and strong, consistent performances from guitarist Richard Oakes and keyboardist Neil Codling are another reason Bloodsports is so engaging. Sinuous synths lines weave between martial drums and wiry guitars on “Sabotage,” while wavy, underwater guitar lines and ghostly keyboards captivate in “What Are You Not Telling Me.” Elsewhere, “Always” tiptoes along like the footsteps of a stylish vampire down the echo-laden halls of a cold, damp castle. It and album finale “Faultlines” possess a slow-burning noir grandeur that hasn’t shown up much, if at all, in their music since 1994’s swirling art-glam masterpiece Dog Man Star.
There’s not much new ground being trod on Bloodsports, but it succeeds wildly as a hungry comeback album from a band that had seemingly been satisfied to fade away into mediocrity. It’s good to have Suede back in the fold, reinforcing rather than tarnishing their legacy.
B+

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