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Suede - Autofiction

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 8 / 11 / 2022

Suede - Autofiction
Label: BMG
Format: CD


Aggressive and electrifying new punk record from seminal Britpop outfit Suede

After Suede reformed in 2010 following a seven year break, they played a predictable series of “classic album” shows around the London area followed by a ‘Greatest Hits’ tour just to remind the world that, as they saw things, it was they - rather than Oasis or Blur - who were the true originators of 1990s Britpop. But subsequently Suede have not been playing the nostalgia card. They have moved on, recording three adventurous new albums, ‘Bloodsports’, ‘Night Thoughts’ and ‘The Blue Hour’. The last of these featured choirs, orchestral flourishes plus bucolic instruments - which prompted singer Brett Anderson to comment that the album was “wilfully obscure”. However it was an accomplished record that worked well as a complete piece of music – even if its sales were a little disappointing for the band. Suede's new album is very different. ‘Autofiction’ gives Suede fans something more familiar. It is a celebration of aggressive and unadulterated rock'n'roll that recaptures the raw energy of the band's formative years. “This is our big punk record,” Anderson says. “No whistles, no bells, just five of us in a room, really going for it.” ‘Autofiction’ certainly has energy! Richard Oakes' guitar really drives the band along. ‘That Boy On The Stage’ is an electrifying stomp. By contrast, ‘What Am I Without You’ is a windswept ballad reminiscent of David Bowie, Roxy Music and 1970s glam. There are many throwbacks to Suede's heyday. But Suede are no longer 20-somethings....they are men in their 50s and they face up to realities in their lyrics. Anderson overcame problems with drugs but is now a husband and father who has penned two autobiographies. On ‘She Still Leads Me On’, he reflects on the death of his mother prior to Suede having their big break. And ‘Shadow Self’ is a song about turning 50 whilst ‘Drive Myself Home’ is another mature ballad nicely illuminated by piano and woodwind. ‘That Boy On The Stage’ is a boisterous celebration of live performance whilst ‘15 Again’ is a reflection on “afternoons in bedrooms with TV meals” Suede certainly seem regenerated on ‘Autofiction’. Bassist Mat Osman says the band made this album to remind themselves of the joys of being in a band, whilst acknowledging some of complexities of growing older. It certainly feels like the band have rediscovered themselves - and this new album will help roll back the years for Suede and their many ardent fans!

Track Listing:-
1 She Still Leads Me On
2 Personality Disorder
3 15 Again
4 The Only Way I Can Love You
5 That Boy On The Stage
6 Drive Myself Home
7 Black Ice
8 Shadow Self
9 It's Always The Quiet Ones
10 What Am I Without You?
11 Turn Off Your Brain And Yell

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Albert Hall, Manchester, 8/2/2016
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