Brett Anderson – Brett Anderson
Of all the British guitar bands which came to prominence during the mid-1990s, Suede’s musical legacy remains the most underrated. Following the band’s disappointing final album in 2002, and a vain attempt to re-capture former glories by re-uniting with guitarist Bernard Butler as The Tears in 2005, former Suede front man Brett Anderson has finally decided to launch himself as a solo artist. At this stage in his career, this could be make or break time.
Perhaps for this reason, the album plays it very safe in musical terms. This is a clear move into “adult contemporary” territory, pitched at an audience who will have grown up with Anderson, jettisoning brash twenty-something hedonism in favour of tasteful thirty-something Angst Lite. The eleven songs are mostly mid-paced, vaguely wistful in tone, and augmented by politely swelling string arrangements.
The overall effect is reminiscent of Richard Ashcroft’s similarly problematic solo work, following the demise of The Verve. The overall sound is pleasant enough, and Anderson’s vocals have never sounded stronger – but the songs simply aren’t there. This is thin, forgettable stuff, which half-heartedly strives for profundity, but simply ends up sounding tired and forced.