Blimey. After the reformation a couple of years ago of nineties androgyny-pushers, Suede have finally gone where few reformed Britpoppers dare tread (obvious exception Blur, of course). They’ve actually released some new music.
And it’s undeniably Suede.
It might not be their new single – you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for that, but ‘Barriers’ is a pretty promising start. Lyrically, it still sounds a bit like someone’s taken a load of random Brett-Anderson-esque keywords (‘lipstick’, ‘fountain pen’, ‘tinsel’), thrown them up in the air and strung them all together exactly as they’ve landed - albeit with a disappointing lack of mentions of petrol/gasoline. And Anderson’s vocals have been turned up to epic, so that basically works. Codling’s keyboards are as swirling as you might expect. Richard Oakes may never throw off the shadow of Bernard Butler, but he’s earned his place here, and does a perfectly competent job to prove it. There’s nothing as beautiful here as ‘The Wild Ones’ of course; it’s a little bit more… stadium. A bit - whisper it – U2.
But doubtless, it won’t offend the ears of any Suede fans, it doesn’t lean too far into ‘A New Morning’ territory, it’s not them at their most mediocre. Whether it’ll win them any new ones in the run up to their sixth album this spring, well, that remains to be seen.
Listen to - or download - ‘Barriers’ here.