Brett Anderson – Brett Anderson

completely shatter all expectations you may have had for what you expected a Brett Anderson solo album would sound like.

completely shatter all expectations you may have had for what you expected a Brett Anderson solo album would sound like.



"Nothing ever goes

Like nothing really flows

In my life


No one really cares

If no one ever shares

My bed


People push by

With fear in their eyes

In my life


Love is dead"


As you can tell from these opening lines, we’re dealing with a very different Brett Anderson here. If you’re coming here looking for something to keep the Suede fires burning in your heart or to carry on the warm glowing feeling you received from The Tears album, then you may as well just walk back out of the room now. There’s nothing here for you. Basically, this is Brett Anderson as he’s never shown us before. Brett has used this solo album as an opportunity to completely deconstruct the mythology that he’s built up around himself over the past decade and to come up with a new persona altogether.


The opening track, Love is Dead, contains a very caustic, cynical lyric. Casting a cold, harsh look at the world Brett immediately cuts through the glamorous, romantic world of fast love and film stars he spent the last three Suede albums talking about, which will be more than a shock for some. It’s a very bitter track, but it’s saved by the gentle, sweeping strings that surround his voice. I’m glad to say that Brett never really gets that bitter again, which is a good thing because this could so easily have degenerated into one of those sappy, solemn, "Woe is me" type solo albums where the artist wants you to feel sorry for them. "Look at me differently please. I’m just misunderstood." You’ll be glad to hear, I’m sure, that there’s none of that here. What Love is Dead does do, however, is completely shatter all expectations you may have had for what you expected a Brett Anderson solo album would sound like.


Love is Dead sweeps along at a gentle stroll, carried by some soothing string loops. There’s no beat, so to speak. Hell, there’s hardly even anything you could call a chorus, which will be the biggest shock for anyone familiar with Brett’s back catalogue. The closest thing to anything Suede like on here is Dust and Rain, but even then the beat is suffocated down to a slow thump, rather than the pounding, foot tapping kind we’re all used to. One Lazy Morning, on the other hand, is like nothing else he’s ever written before and I can’t find anything like it on anything else he’s ever done, which, considering I think it’s one of the best tracks on the album, is quite an accomplishment really. It’s quite a brave step for an artist to completely change direction, to completely re-mould their character and attitude into something else. It’s more than just upsetting the apple cart, it instantly alienates you from your entire fan base and that’s a very daring thing to do. Bernard Butler once left Suede and went on to prove that he was much more than a one trick pony. Brett Anderson has now done the same. He deserves some credit for that, at the very least.


I’m sure this album will get a lot of detractors but I can tell you right now, they’re wrong. This may be the first Brett Anderson record that sounds better in the living room than in a nightclub, but that’s not something you should criticize it for. If you want to get ready for a night out, listen to Coming Up or The Tears, they’re brilliant for that. This is something else, it’s an album to listen to on your own. Create some space, make sure everyone else is out of the house, sit back and enjoy. You may well come to realize that taking some time to take stock of your life may not be that bad of a thing after all.


Words: Damian Leslie