Suede A New Morning

A couple of years ago, it looked like Suede was about to make their exit from the history books of Britpop. However, they have emerged from a rather tough stretch with A New Morning, their fifth studio outing. Here, we find the swaggering London lads returning to the sound that worked so well on Coming Up, and it is definitely an improvement over their last album, the rather dismal Head Music. Unfortunately, the songs seem a little lacklustre, and Brett Anderson's voice struggles, at times, showing the signs of age and abuse. This is not to suggest that the album is not without its merits. There are tracks like "Obsessions" and "One Hit To The Body" that recall what made Suede the trend-setting band that they were. Richard Oakes' guitar work is spot-on, and with Stephen Street producing, everything is put together properly, but something does seem missing. Not to mention the fact that most of this album sounds like they are visiting ground they've already covered. Still, it has all the trademarks of a great Suede album, which may be good enough for many fans. For the UK music completist, it may or may not be worth noting that this CD comes with an album's worth of extra MP3 song outtakes, although you have to register on their website to access them. (Sony)