- 17 Feb 16
Second wave win for glamorous guitar slingers
Seven albums into a 27-year career is not generally when you expect a band to hit a career high, but Night Thoughts is probably the finest Suede long player since their 1994 sophomore epic, Dog Man Star, or their glorious eponymous debut. Indeed, Night Thoughts combines the immediacy of early seven-inches like ‘Animal Nitrate’ with the more sonically ambitious ‘Daddy’s Speeding’.
On opener ‘When You Are Young’, the first minute and fifteen seconds of ominous effects and sad strings gives way to a monumental guitar line, before Brett Anderson’s tortured Bowie-esque vocal enters stage left. For that first few bars, you could be transported back to 1993, when Messrs Anderson and Butler were set to conquer the world. Except it’s 23 years later and Bernard Butler is nowhere to be seen.
The fact that Night Thoughts doesn’t suffer from his absence is testament to the quality of the musicianship of the other Suede-heads, Mat Osman (bass), Simon Gilbert (drums), Neil Codling (piano and synths) and particularly lead guitarist Richard Oakes, whose solos are epic enough to hold Anderson’s brooding ruminations aloft, from the driving rock of ‘No Tomorrow’ to the dramatic, bruising ‘Pale Snow’, with its regret-filled coda, “It never happens to me”.