...Radiates maturity and self-confidence.
Niko Michault 2007
With British popular culture currently taking the world by storm again, it seems only natural that one of the pioneers from blighty’s last major musical movement should be present. However, this time he comes alone. Brett Anderson, sans Suede or The Tears (currently residing in the ‘where are they now?’ file), finally answers speculation with this his debut as a solo artist and songwriter. This self-titled album is not necessarily what you would expect of him, though.
Brett Anderson radiates maturity and self-confidence. Maybe demons have been exorcised or maybe he’s grown wiser with age. Without bandmates or Bernard Butler the glam and avant-garde have gone, eclipsed by string arrangements and ceremonious harmonies. The first single and album opener ‘’Love is Dead’’ gives a melancholic and honest introduction for what’s to come. ‘’Dust and Rain’’ is guitar-driven with a clever-clever hook ‘I am the dust/ you are the rain/ I am the needle/ you are the vain’. It brings an edge that is sometimes missed in the rest of the album. It’ll be a killer performed live.
But it’s the emotional stuff that really hits home here. Songs like ‘‘Infinite Kiss’’ reach inside and haunt the listener. And if you want depth there’s the waltzy ‘’The More We Possess The Less We Own Of Ourselves’’, a poignant piece of social commentary expressed through the story of Peggy and her material life. This is above all, impressive songcraft and will silence any nay sayers who doubt Anderson’s solo abilities.
So personal troubles may have been replaced with reflection but this signals an evolution in Brett Anderson…deliberate or natural. It may be too doleful for some, missing his former edge, and energy and some fans may be alienated by the change in direction. But for most, such an epic sounding album will bring sighs of relief. The man’s not giving up quite yet…