Suede - Night Thoughts (2LP)

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Night Thoughts is a quintessentially Suede title: specific yet vague, a notion that seems either romantic or sad depending on perspective. Twenty years, a decade of which was spent in a split, certainly has shifted Suede's perspective, particularly that of leader Brett Anderson. In his younger years, Anderson couldn't resist the tragic but as he settles into middle age, his work bears an unmistakable undercurrent of gratitude: no longer racing against a nuclear sunset, he's meditating upon the elongated stillness of night. It's a shift of attitude, a maturation mirrored by Suede consolidating their strengths. Leaving behind frivolous trash - it is, after all, a sound that suits the young - Suede embrace their inherent glamorous grandeur, playing miniatures as if they were epics while reining in excess. In a sense, Night Thoughts functions as the Dog Man Star to Bloodsports, an album that dwarfs its predecessor in both sound and sensibility. If Dog Man Star threatened to topple upon its own ambition - part of its charm is how it meandered into endless darkness - that makes the precision of Night Thoughts all the more impressive