Night Thoughts (album)

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Night Thoughts
Suede Night Thoughts album cover.jpg
Studio album by Suede
Released 22 January 2016 (2016-01-22)
Recorded 2014
Genre
Length 47:39
Label Warner Music UK
Producer
Suede chronology
Bloodsports
(2013)Bloodsports2013
Night Thoughts
(2016)
The Blue Hour
(2018)The Blue Hour2018
Singles from Night Thoughts
  1. "Outsiders"
    Released: 24 September 2015
  2. "Like Kids"
    Released: 1 December 2015
  3. "Pale Snow"
    Released: 13 January 2016
  4. "No Tomorrow"
    Released: 16 January 2016
  5. "What I'm Trying To Tell You"
    Released: 29 February 2016

Night Thoughts is the seventh studio album by English alternative rock band Suede. Produced by long-time collaborator Ed Buller, the album was released through Warner Music UK on 22 January 2016 to widespread critical acclaim. It was accompanied by a feature film, directed by Roger Sargent. During their 2016 tour the band performed from behind a screen on which Sargent's film was projected during the first half of their set. The album is considered by some critics to be the band's finest work since Dog Man Star.[4][5]

Background and production[edit]

In January 2014 vocalist Brett Anderson revealed that Suede were in the middle of the writing process for a new album.[6] Anderson mentioned that the band "want to carry on writing and pushing forward, so we're taking it somewhere else now."[6] In March, keyboardist Neil Codling posted that Suede were in the studio recording the follow-up to Bloodsports (2013).[7] The album, which was recorded in London and Brussels, features a full string section.[8] The majority of the album was recorded in Belgium in one session, "record[ing] all the music [...] as one piece".[9] Recording was produced by Ed Buller.[10] The album was initially planned for release in 2015.[7] Anderson explained the band wanted to "go somewhere else with [Night Thoughts], to make something with a bit more scope."[9]

Composition[edit]

Codling compared "Outsiders" to the likes of "Trash" and "Beautiful Ones", calling it "a rallying cry for the excluded."[11]

Mat Osman talked about the writing process:

"Neil and Richard pretty much wrote a record, they wrote about 45 minutes of music, lots of which ran into each other and lots of different themes re-emerged. We went to Belgium which were we started recording and basically recorded everything without Brett having any melodies or any words, which he’s never done before, so it was a bit of a leap in the dark. And then he sat down to write to the whole thing and we had no idea if it was going to work, it hasn’t ended up the same, uh since then we‘ve added about 4 songs and cut quite a lot of it and moved stuff around. It always started off as a record that was influenced by film music and stuff like that, the way you can have quite meandering pieces and scenes that reemerge, theres lots of stuff on the record that is made up of bits and pieces of other songs."[12]

Release[edit]

In February 2015 Suede debuted "What I'm Trying to Tell You" live while at the NME Awards.[13] On 7 September, Night Thoughts was announced for release.[10] The band performed the whole album in full on 13 and 14 November 2015 at London Roundhouse.[8] These dates also serve as the premiere of the Night Thoughts film,[8] which played in the background behind the band.[10] The DVD version of the film is included in a special edition of the Night Thoughts LP.[10]

On the press release, director Sargent stated:

"The record deals with a lot of familial themes – life, death, love, anguish and despair; themes that are expanded upon in its visual companion, providing a study of how those elements affect the human psyche. It resonated with me for many reasons, not least because my mother passed away a few days after I started writing a story for the film. The film starts with a man drowning in the waters of a deserted beach at night, as he fights for life, his mind plays out the events that lead him to be there."[14][15]

On 2 September 2015 the band released a teaser video that was thought to be leading to a new album.[16] Bassist Mat Osman linked to this video from Twitter with the caption "It begins".[16] A trailer for the film and the album was released on 7 September.[17] On 24 September, "Outsiders" was made available for streaming.[18] Night Thoughts was released on 22 January 2016.[10] It was promoted with a series of in-store acoustic gigs, including a session at HMV, Oxford Street in London.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic80/100[19]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[20]
Exclaim!8/10[21]
The Guardian4/5 stars[2]
The Irish Times4/5 stars[22]
NME4/5 stars[23]
The New Zealand Herald4.5/5 stars[24]
Pitchfork7.5/10[25]
PopMatters8/10 medals[26]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[3]
Spin8/10[27]

Night Thoughts received positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 80, which indicates "generally favourable reviews", based on 29 reviews.[19] AllMusic senior critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised the album, stating: "With that past behind them, Suede can still dwell on big issues of love and mortality, but now that the past is in perspective, it all means a little bit more and what lies ahead is a little more precious, and that wide view makes Night Thoughts all the more moving."[20] Writing for Exclaim!, Cam Lindsay stated: "Suede establish and uphold the album's gravitas with the type of symphonic grandiosity we've come to anticipate from them."[21] The Guardian's Caroline Sullivan praised the album, calling it "another victory for the misfits."[2] Andy Gill of The Independent wrote: "'How long will it take to break the plans that I never make?' It’s a question that was inevitably begged by those previous celebrations of low-rent outlaw glamour, and, in attempting to answer it, Suede may have made their best album."[28] Consequence of Sound's John Hadusek thought that the record "finds a middleground between the guitar pop of the Coming Up era and the moodier textures of Dog Man Star," and regarded it as "a fine entry in their already strong discography."[29]

Pitchfork critic Stuart Berman was positive in his assessment of the album, stating: "With Night Thoughts Suede once again leap up off the dancefloor to swing from the chandeliers." Berman further stated that the record "isn’t a rock opera per se, though it gamely assumes the form of one."[25] The Quietus' Luke Turner thought that musically, the album "is the most solid and focussed-sounding album Suede have ever realised" and commented: "It certainly is the sound of a band stepping out of their own shadow to finally be all they can be."[30] Rachel Brodsky of Spin wrote: "Night Thoughts honors Suede’s longstanding place in Brit-rock history as theatrical brooders with a penchant for pop and post-punk, while also celebrating the five-piece’s growth by supplying listeners with another round of swirling dance ballads and operatic, Dog Man Star-ry ruminations."[27] Rolling Stone's Ashley Zlatopolsky described the record as the band's "most cohesive album to date, putting a decisively modern twist on their definitive Brit-pop."[3]

Salon included the album in its list of the 14 "criminally underrated albums" of the year. Annie Zaleski felt that, although the album lacked the pop hooks of Bloodsports, the album had its own merits in "rich orchestral flourishes, dramatic guitar arpeggios and vocalist Brett Anderson’s still-pristine, theatrical croon."[31]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
Drowned In Sound UK 16 Best Albums of 2016[32] 2016 10
Esquire UK 20 Best Albums of 2016[33] 2016 *
Fopp UK 100 Best Albums of 2016[34] 2016 28
Flavorwire US 10 Best Albums of 2016[35] 2016 *
Gigwise UK 51 Best Albums of 2016[36] 2016 3
Louder Than War UK 50 Best Albums of 2016[37] 2016 44
Mojo UK 50 Albums of the Year[38] 2016 33
musicOMH UK 50 Best Albums of 2016[39] 2016 39
The Quietus UK 100 Best Albums of 2016[40] 2016 36
Radio X UK 25 Best Albums of 2016[41] 2016 *
The Telegraph UK Best Albums of 2016[42] 2016 *

Track listing[edit]

Disc one: Music
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."When You Are Young"4:18
2."Outsiders"
  • Anderson
  • Codling
3:53
3."No Tomorrow"3:51
4."Pale Snow"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
  • Codling
2:42
5."I Don't Know How to Reach You"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
  • Codling
6:12
6."What I'm Trying to Tell You"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
  • Codling
4:11
7."Tightrope"
  • Anderson
  • Codling
3:51
8."Learning to Be"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
3:21
9."Like Kids"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
3:36
10."I Can't Give Her What She Wants"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
4:45
11."When You Were Young"
  • Anderson
  • Codling
2:19
12."The Fur and the Feathers"
  • Anderson
  • Oakes
  • Codling
4:40

Personnel[edit]

Film[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[43] 72
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[44] 29
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[45] 35
Croatian International Albums (HDU)[46] 2
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[47] 22
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[48] 23
French Albums (SNEP)[49] 64
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[50] 31
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[51] 11
Irish Albums (IRMA)[52] 14
Italian Albums (FIMI)[53] 54
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[54] 34
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[55] 25
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[56] 40
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[57] 26
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[58] 37
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[59] 71
UK Albums (OCC)[60] 6
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[61] 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kearns, John (22 January 2016). "Music Scene: Suede's Night Thoughts sets the bar high for 2016". The Irish News. Archived from the original on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Sullivan, Caroline (21 January 2016). "Suede: Night Thoughts review – a florid, cinematic concept album". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Zlatopolsky (22 January 2016). "Night Thoughts". Rolling Stone. pp. Ashley. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  4. ^ Hawking, Tom (4 February 2016). "Suede's 'Night Thoughts' Is a Late-Career Masterpiece That Should Finally Make America Take Notice". Flavorwire. Archived from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  5. ^ Walshe, John (17 February 2016). "Second wave win for glamorous guitar slingers". Hot Press. Archived from the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b Bychawski, Adam (30 January 2014). "Brett Anderson reveals Suede are working on a new album". NME. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b Kravitz, Kayley (15 May 2014). "Bloodsports II, Anderson Returns: New Suede album coming in 2015". Vanyaland. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Butler, Will (7 September 2015). "Suede Announce New Album And Feature Film, 'Night Thoughts'". Gigwise. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b Beaumont, Mark (12 November 2015). "Q&A: Suede's Brett Anderson On Making Their 'Third Debut' Album, And How The Stone Roses Could Do The Same". NME. Archived from the original on 15 November 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
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  11. ^ Watts 2016, p. 28
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  24. ^ Puschmann, Karl (12 February 2016). "Britpop band recapture majestic melodrama". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
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  44. ^ "Ultratop.be – Suede – Night Thoughts" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  45. ^ "Ultratop.be – Suede – Night Thoughts" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  46. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
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  56. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Suede – Night Thoughts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  57. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Suede – Night Thoughts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
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Sources

  • Watts, Peter (February 2016). Mulvey, John, ed. "Love & Poison". Uncut. London: Time Inc. UK (225). ISSN 1368-0722.

External links[edit]