2 September 2013

2nd September - Suede's Coming Up

Artist – Album: Suede – Coming Up
Released:  2nd September 1996
Sounds Like: Bowie does Britpop

Some would have it that Suede are the group that kickstarted the Britpop fad, highly acclaimed pioneers that were barged out of the way by yobbish upstarts Oasis and Blur and left to pick up the scraps in terms of hit songs. The description fails on closer inspection on two counts: Suede were not quite the first of the Britpoppers – Morrissey had been making music like this for a decade (including his 1988 single ‘Suedehead’, the track from which Suede took their name) and the rockier elements of the earlier Madchester scene (including a somewhat Baggier Blur) were the real forerunners; and the group were certainly not the nearly men of pop – their first album became the fastest selling debut in history as it rocketed to the top of the charts, whilst their fourth album also surged to the top. Coming Up, their third effort, is the other of their three number one albums (second album Dog Man Star broke the sequence with its measly third place charting), and with it produced five top ten singles. They didn’t do too shabbily, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Coming Up’s array of hits is indicative of the direction the band took with this release. The group had parted ways with guitarist Bernard Butler, and frontman Brett Anderson made the decision to adopt a much more upbeat and accessible sound than the commercially tepid (but since declared masterpiece) Dog Man Star. The album is dominated by simple, anthemic choruses and rousing guitar solos, with Anderson prancing about in his Bowie/Bolan obsessed manner and half-celebrating, half-lampooning the excessive lifestyles of vacuous nineties celebrities.

Trash’, ‘Beautiful Ones’ and ‘Saturday Night’ are classics, but, to be honest, the one note tactic to the album – Anderson had announced that he wanted to write an album of “just ten hits” – does begin to grate a little. A change in dynamic, a pared down approach to a song or two just to give you time to breath, is sadly lacking.  It’s good, not great, and is perhaps the album to turn only once you’ve tired of their first two stonkers.

 Albumaday... rating: 7/10

1.       Trash – 4:06

2.       Filmstar – 3:25

3.       Lazy – 3:19
4.       By the Sea – 4:15
5.       She – 3:38
6.       Beautiful Ones – 3:50
7.       Starcrazy – 3:33
8.       Picnic by the Motorway – 4:45
9.       The Chemistry Between Us – 7:04
10.   Saturday Night – 4:32

Listen to ‘Trash’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PdKGDMhau4

Also released on 2nd September:
2003: The National – Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers

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