The three years since Head Music have seen changes aplenty in Suede – a new label, a new keyboardist (Alex Lee replacing wunderkind Neil Codling), and a new producer. The latter is perhaps the most significant change, the new producer Stephen Street ushering the band away from the more rave-conscious Station to Station sound initiated by Steve Osborne on Head Music, in effect returning Suede to their earlier, guitar-driven style – a move that will doubtless please older fans but limits their development somewhat. It may seem like A New Morning to the band, but others may find it more like Groundhog Day: there's something a touch overfamiliar, for instance, about "Streetlife", with its tired old tosh about "shaking your rear" to "the beat of the concrete street" – which, it has to be said, bears scant relation to Suede these days. Haven't they recorded this song at least twice before? Likewise, the string of vapid women listed in "Lonely Girls", none of whom makes the jump from cipher to character, remaining instead part of Brett Anderson's cast of imaginary unfortunates. To be fair, there are a few changes to the standard Suede formula: "Beautiful Loser" takes a dig at exactly the kind of glamorous lowlife they once used to serenade, while the oddly affirmative message of "Positivity", sits uncomfortably with their usual stance, to put it mildly. Other than that, as the cover suggests, it's just another CD.
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