Suede – She Still Leads Me On Review

Glam rock continues to march on as Suede mark another album release for the back end of this year. A series of shaky returns to the recording studio precede She Still Leads Me On, one of Suede’s strongest tracks from this new generation of the Britpop poster boys. Previous effort The Blue Hour opened and closed with excellence but had a half-baked middle ground. Thankfully frontman Brett Anderson and company have managed to capture that opening and closing success with She Still Leads Me, a relatively simple but exceptionally firm track that captures the sultry Suede mentality and charts a promising direction for the band in a new decade of music.

There is an intense and inevitable reflection found on She Still Leads Me On, one that features Anderson clamouring back to those carefree days of childhood. An overload of reflection can lead to disastrous consequences that look to renege the efforts of the artist from years gone by. Just look at Bono, chastising himself for his own music. Nothing of the sort happens for Suede, and while the reflective period is always a tricky minefield to navigate, She Still Leads Me On is steering the band in the right direction. Reflections on love and family, the usual tropes of the Anderson format, are toyed with well. A usual unhappy ending depends on a “dangerous mind” right at the heart of effective wordplay backed by strong melodies.

Where whispered openings can work, it does not for She Still Leads Me On, but that is because it is overpowered by guitar riffs that soon develop alongside a decent drum beat from Simon Gilbert. Nice, piercing guitar riffs break through the new wave of Suede, which relies more and more on a uniformed musical style, rather than the erratic brilliance of their early years. There are glimmers for those that need the nostalgia shot, but hearing Suede is still kicking should be more than enough. They haven’t lost that edge of their Coming Up era, but have adapted it into a digestible, simpler array of notes and lyrics. She Still Leads Me On will benefit from the shock of a new Suede album, but may sink deeper once the full project is released.

A little tinge of Interpol, the slightest mixture of The Airborne Toxic Event and a bit of a drift away from the glory days, Suede moves further and further to new sounds and experiences with a tight track, inevitable guitar solo and promising first single for upcoming album, Autofiction. She Still Leads Me On relies on veterans of the recording studio pulling out all the stops. The results are exciting, still have room to grow and may linger much longer on the mind than the previous entries into their discography. Not since Bloodsports has Suede been this keen on innovation, this exciting a band to listen to. She Still Leads Me On sets the groundwork for what could be a grand return to real, post-punk thrills in the glam rock sphere.

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