More challenging than coming back from the adversity
of the misunderstood masterpiece, Dog Man Star, is to follow up a commercial success
with yet another. I'm, of course, referring to COMING UP. To do this SUEDE have delivered
HEAD MUSIC, which shot to number one upon release in the UK last month.
the safety of sticking to the COMING UP formula, Suede do indeed take chances with
HEAD MUSIC and go about things a little differently. The sound is more electronic;
less emotional and clearly designed to be performed live. Opener, Electricity and
Can't Get Enough are the two that will definitely'rawk the house'. She's In Fashion,
Asbestos and Hi-fi are perfect summer soothers, as smooth and sweet as a melting
ice cream cone on a hot day. There's is a certain aloof, less desperate and more
even quality to these songs than Suede material up till now. I look forward to hearing
the extended live versions, which have the potential of being very spellbinding.
Music is progressive.
It brings Suede into new creative areas.
cut above these three is Everything Will Flow, which builds to a gorgeous chorus
backed with swaying synths. Dressed in Brett's ethereal vocal quality, this is classic
Suede. Indian Strings and He's Gone follow closely˝sweeping melodies with reaching
now on to the title cut, Head Music and following number, Elephant Man. These two
do nothing for me, although Head Music has a certain catchy quality. It should be
very popular at frat house parties. Not that I'm being prissy about the line,"Give
me head, give me head, give me head music," it's just that it's such an obvious
word-play. Hell, though, couple of beers and I might be chanting the chorus with
the audience. (har har)
Man, though, sounds very choppy, clumsy and, well, very elephant man-like. Perhaps
that was the intention. Perhaps it's a statement song. Angry Suede; a new concept.
The CD closes with the very short acoustic and vocal only political observation,
Crack In The Union Jack.
Head Music is progressive. It brings Suede into new creative areas. Some of it works
better than the rest, but I would rather see this than have the band stay with what
worked last time. Give me Head Music.
Anderson on stage at Reading, 1997