Suede – The Blue Hour

Besides the proven concepts of "constant loss of quality", "creative stagnation" and "eternal farewell tour" a new model for aging rock bands pushed through in recent years: the unexpected return after actually completed self disassembly. The best example are Suede, who were at first involved in the Britpop revival at the end of the 80s, then were allowed to spend a decade in the still quite glaring second row of hype, where, however they´ve been broken down between drugs, increased expectations and dwindling creativity. Five years ago, after moderately successful solo projects and reunion shows, that had become obligatory for bands of their size, they wanted to present new music with "Bloodsport". The enthusiasm was initially limited, but the concerns turned out to be unfounded: Suede had benefited from the break, no longer had to follow trends, had fallen out of time and thereby had achieved a unique, gloomy-shimmering sound.

That is no later than on "The Blue Hour" in full bloom, especially because the quartet with all the usual grandeur, always only suggests the possibility of delivering an opus magnum here. The opulent strings disperse time and time again into moving rock songs, the repeatedly interspersed field recordings report about kidnapped children and dead animals without forming a coherent story. In addition Brett Anderson always finds the right balance between serious rock opera and winking glam in his voice. There are narrow tightrope walks, where the quintet is moving here under the aegis of Alan Moulder, particularly since the image of shady hours between day and night, which are to be captured here, seem to be worn at first glance.

But Suede lead from the gothic synth clink "Chalk Circle" into the safe indie rocker "Cold Hands", protect the folksy "Life Is Golden" as much from excessively pathos, as the panting "Wastelands" and dissolve the accumulated tension at the end with "Flytipping", both sensitively and bombastic. This stimulates the activated motifs and evoked climaxes with an energy that is lacking in most of other late works.

"Marauder" itself does not follow a common theme

Track List

1  As One
2  Wastelands
3   Mistress
4   Beyond The Outskirts
5   Chalk Circles
6   Cold Hands
7   Life Is Golden
8   Roadkill
9   Tides
10   Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You
11   Dead Bird
12   All The Wild Places
13   The Invisibles