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Sep 27, 2018While there are other occasions--notably All The Wild Places’ excessively grandiose orchestration and the ridiculous gothic chanting on Chalk Circles--where it all feels just a bit much, all in all The Blue Hour is a bold, accomplished effort from a band who still have plenty of ideas more than a quarter of century after they first emerged.
UncutAug 30, 2018It finds Suede wrapping up a triptych of records since their 2013 reunion and in doing so they feel positioned with one foot in the familiar camp of old while striding forward with the other into fresh, unknown territory. [Oct 2018, p.34]
Q MagazineAug 30, 2018Intriguingly between success and failure, as if occupying a musical hinterland of its own. [Oct 2018, p.118]
Positive: 8 out of 8
Mixed: 0 out of 8
Negative: 0 out of 8
Sep 26, 2018... this band grew up with me and now is in the best shape... the record is telling a dark story, which is narrated in many ways, there is a... this band grew up with me and now is in the best shape... the record is telling a dark story, which is narrated in many ways, there is a spoken word, Black Sabbath moment ( ! ), orchestral and noisy guitar elements... but every piece has a Suede sauce, their specific feeling... it could be a challenge for someone, who just wants to think back to good old Coming Up times, but Suede are looking for new horizons and it's a beautiful view...… Expand
Sep 25, 2018The album sees Suede embrace goth, heavy metal, and punk, spoken work, field recordings and monastic chanting, but somehow it all works.The album sees Suede embrace goth, heavy metal, and punk, spoken work, field recordings and monastic chanting, but somehow it all works. Another great Suede post-comeback album. Highlights include 'As One', 'Beyond the Outskirts', 'Cold Hands', 'Life is Golden', 'Don't be Afraid if Nobody Loves You'.… Expand
Sep 21, 2018The Blue Hour is the most fascinating, expansive, groundbreaking Suede's record. And yes: it's their best record, and maybe forever. At leastThe Blue Hour is the most fascinating, expansive, groundbreaking Suede's record. And yes: it's their best record, and maybe forever. At least half of the tracks are absolute highlights in their career along with a similar amount of old classics, others are really beautiful, haunting pieces of music, and, well, DBAINL (sure, a very fine song) feels misplaced, lessened, maybe pointless, and that would explain by itself the kind of achievement we're talking about.
There are immediate songs (Wastelands, Mistress, Life Is Golden, Tides, Flytipping...) and there are a bunch of miraculous growers (Chalk Circles, Beyond The Outskirts, All The Wild Places or the unfairly questioned The Invisibles, a monument when played live).
Regarding live, all feels as if the crafting of The Blue Hour had informed their approach to their previous repertoire. There's a theatrical "mise-en-sound", and at the same time all the old songs breath with fresh air, show unheard layers, a new power. It's as if Suede could just take any song now and turn it into something entirely unexpected. Special mention here to the Night Thoughts tracks: they sound liberated from the film, tearing down the curtain, free to establish themselves in the Suede canon.
God Brett is better than ever. His voice is astoundingly expressive, at full strength, pitch-perfect. And on stage, wait and see him move, smile, take the wand and orchestrate the cult.
I regret having listened to the four songs released before, The Blue Hour demands like no other Suede's record to be listened to in its integrity. I admire and envy those of you who resisted.
It's not the record I'd recommend to enter Suedeworld. The Blue Hour is a huge gift to those who already worship them. Yes, the 3-star reviews are understandable, because if you loathed or neglected them, rest assured: you'll utterly loath or neglect them with The Blue Hour. And you know what? They don't give a **** and we, the fans, have every reason to go nuts. God forbid, please, please, please, but if this was to be their last record, I'll be left wondering until the end of my days what on Earth was in stock for us after The Blue Hour.… Expand
Sep 28, 2018"The Blue Hour" is a new triumph by Suede, bringing one masterpiece after another ("Night Thoughts").
An essential release, a strong"The Blue Hour" is a new triumph by Suede, bringing one masterpiece after another ("Night Thoughts").
An essential release, a strong contender for album of the year.… Expand
Sep 23, 2018This is Suede at its most adventurous, Gothic, audacious, and confident yet. The Blue Hour gives us an insane yet carefully orchestratedThis is Suede at its most adventurous, Gothic, audacious, and confident yet. The Blue Hour gives us an insane yet carefully orchestrated journey of funeral dirges, witch chants, words from Brett's son, unexpected power chords, ridiculous amounts of orchestral strings juxtaposed against cheap synth strings, and of course ample walls of guitar sound. It loosely chronicles an episode of child abduction, whether by an abductor, by forces of nature, or by the lure of cities, yet somehow manages to sound optimistic and hopeful in its twisted way.
Despite all that strangeness, the album is quintessentially Suede, and in fact, it sounds like something the band had aspired to for years yet unable to reach until now. Every song will send chills up your spines, either musically or lyrically.
Having listened to them for two decades and was disappointed that they couldn't quite get things right in their past two comeback albums, I'm ecstatic that they had finally nailed it. The Blue Hour will be the most underrated album of the year, and I'm glad they don't need to care about it anymore.… Expand
Sep 21, 2018They will (of course) be forever judged on Dog Man Star. That’s unfair, because DMS was very much of its time and times change. As a fan I’veThey will (of course) be forever judged on Dog Man Star. That’s unfair, because DMS was very much of its time and times change. As a fan I’ve changed too. I don’t want another DMS, and I guess Suede don’t want to make that record again either.
This is a new Suede, expanding on a sound that’s different to both the debut and DMS, and the post Bernard records. This is Blood Sports and Night Thoughts taking the next step. The Blue Hour is its own record but at the same time it works with the previous two releases in what feels like a whole.
Insomnia had me listening to it at 2am on 21 September (New Zealand time) when I guess the rest of the world may not have got their grotty little paws on it just yet. It didn’t grab me like that sacred moment when I first listened to Dog Man Star, and realised that I wasn’t the only one who both loved and hated the housing estate hopelessness of suburban England in the first half of the 90s. But it had me in a different way.
The Blue Hour isn’t afraid and it isn’t trying to be what it’s not. It’s that melodic bass, sustained yet riff laden guitar, synth and piano sound that only Suede have mastered. Add to that lyrics that touch a hopeless Englishness that’s both romantic and doomed, and you’ve got the record in a nutshell.
When I heard Life is Golden and then saw that it was sat in the middle of the record, I thought that it should have been the closing number like Next Life or Still Life. But it’s position at the centre is perfect. It’s an equal to Next Life and Still Life, yet at the same time is its own thing. For my money, it’s their best tune this side of Head Music.
If your idea of a rock band with depth is 5 craggy Brits with more musical talent in each individual little finger than 99% of everything that’s streaming to oblivion, then get The Blue Hour. And then if that’s your initiation, work backwards and weep with joy at Europe is our Playground and Pantomime Horse.… Expand
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