Wilderness (Brett Anderson album)

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Wilderness
BrettAndersonWilderness200px.jpg
Studio album by Brett Anderson
Released 7 July 2008
(USB Stick Format)
29 July 2008
(Digital Download)
4 August 2008
(Disc Format through indie stores)
1 September 2008
(General Release)
Recorded 12–18 May 2008, RAK Studios, The Pierce Rooms
Genre Indie rock, art rock, baroque pop
Length 35:48
Label B A Songs
Brett Anderson chronology
Live at Queen Elizabeth Hall
(2007)Live at Queen Elizabeth Hall2007
Wilderness
(2008)
Slow Attack
(2009)Slow Attack2009
Singles from Wilderness
  1. "Back to You"
    Released: 9 July 2007
  2. "A Different Place"
    Released: 21 July 2008
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 46/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Daily Express 4/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[4]
The Independent 1/5 stars[5]
Metro 3/5 stars[6]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[7]
NME 1.5/5 stars[8]
The Press 4/5 stars[9]
The Times 2/5 stars[10]
WOM magazin 4/5 stars[11]

Wilderness is the second studio album by the English singer Brett Anderson.

Background[edit]

There is minimal use of instrumentation, with only a piano, strings, an occasional acoustic guitar and voice for each track on the record, which Anderson found really exciting, saying: "I wanted to write a beautiful suite of poignant songs. I literally went away to a studio and sat by a piano in an introspective and insular way. It's my most personal record in that it's made almost exclusively by me."[12]

Anderson is keen to make the live shows of Wilderness symbolise an intimate affair. "The live shows will be very minimalist with just a myself and a cello player on stage."[13]

Wilderness was recorded in only seven days, with most tracks recorded as live takes. Fans who bought tickets for Anderson's performance at London's Mermaid Theatre on 7 July received a copy of the album on USB stick format,[14] though the album didn't receive a general release until September.

The cover photograph is by Allan Jenkins.

Reception[edit]

The album received mixed reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 46 out of 100, which indicates "mixed or average reviews" based on 6 reviews.[1] Sam Wolfson of The Guardian was unimpressed, saying that "Anderson had reached a creative menopause."[4] Rick Martin of NME wrote: "Most depressing of all is that Brett Anderson, once one of Britain’s most beguiling indie-pop stars, has become this irrelevant."[8] Andy Gill of The Independent was also negative, saying: "this slim suite of melancholy reveries should polish off what remains of Anderson's fanbase." He did, however have kind words for the single "Back to You", calling it a "half-decent song" and his pick of the album.[5]

AllMusic were more favourable, awarding the album four out of five stars, writing: "For those who are still paying attention, it's actually quite nice to hear Anderson reconnecting to that initial spark while finding ways to experiment. It may not make him a star again, but Wilderness does find Brett Anderson creatively revitalized."[2] Also awarding the album four stars from five, musicOMH wrote: "Wilderness is a slow burner, a gentle and fragile album stripped of the raw emotion of earlier Anderson efforts but no worse for that."[7]

Despite the mixed reviews, Anderson remains optimistic about the record, which is why he takes such pride in releasing Wilderness on his own label. Anderson has stressed this is for purely artistic reasons rather than commercial ambition.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "A Different Place" – 4:12
  2. "The Empress" – 3:39
  3. "Clowns" – 3:03
  4. "Chinese Whispers" – 3:21
  5. "Blessed" – 4:41
  6. "Funeral Mantra" – 2:57
  7. "Back to You" Feat. Emmanuelle Seigner – 3:14
  8. "Knife Edge" – 3:02
  9. "P. Marius" – 4:37
  10. "Symmetry" – 2:40 (iTunes Bonus Track)

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Wilderness liner notes.[15]

Musicians
  • Brett Anderson − lead and backing vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards, tabla, percussion
  • Amy Langley − cello
  • Emmanuelle Seigner − vocals (7)
Production
  • Brett Anderson − production
  • Fred Ball − production, string arrangements
  • Steve Fitzmaurice − engineering, mixing
  • Bunt Stafford Clark − mastering
  • Dan Morrison − mixing
  • Raj Das − mixing
  • Allan Jenkins − photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Metacritic – Wilderness". Metacritic. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Allmusic review
  3. ^ Spellman, Robert (1 September 2008). "BRETT ANDERSON: WILDERNESS (BA)". Daily Express. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Wolfson, Sam (14 September 2008). "Pop review: Brett Anderson, Wilderness". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Gill, Andy (29 August 2008). "Brett Anderson: Wilderness". The Independent. 
  6. ^ Haider, Arwa (1 September 2008). "Earnestly romantic Brett Anderson". Metro. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Cole, Jenni. "Brett Anderson - Wilderness (Drowned in Sound)". musicOMH. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Martin, Rick (27 August 2008). "Brett Anderson". NME. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  9. ^ Gordon, Maxine (12 September 2008). "Brett Anderson, Wilderness (Drowned In Sound)]". The Press. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  10. ^ The Times review
  11. ^ "Brett Anderson: Wilderness". WOM magazin. No. 8 November. p. 25. 
  12. ^ a b Brothwell, David (19 September 2008). "I'll always be proud of Suede but this is my most personal record". The Sun. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. 
  13. ^ Took, Michael (1 September 2008). "Into The Wilderness: Brett Anderson". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  14. ^ "Ex-Suede Singer Brett Anderson Announces New Solo Album". NME. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  15. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Brett-Anderson-Wilderness/release/1548529