With simple guitar riffs, pulsating basslines and shuffling percussion, Black Rainbows may be his finest solo work. Where his past releases may be considered unnecessarily elaborate, this album is simple rock’n’roll with refined pop sensibility. Grand choruses thrive at the heart of this album.
An unabashed love song, first single, Brittle Heart, is as delicate as its name suggests. I Count the Times hosts a heartbreaking chorus, backed by disjointed strings and angelic sighs, and Thin Men Dancing rumbles like a wayward steam train, propelled by a bluesy guitar riff and a disembodied call and response.
While vintage ’90s Britpop is currently fuelling many a night out for hipsters everywhere, the music of Suede still seems to be unjustifiably alienating. Perhaps it’s the distinctively abrasive quality of Anderson’s expressive voice. Maybe it’s the often questionable and almost absurdly abstract lyrics. These factors, of course, are still present in Anderson’s solo releases. They are inherently Anderson. On Black Rainbows, Anderson weaves delicate narratives and poetic landscapes that are simultaneously challenging and comforting.
BY LARA MOATES
Best Track: I Count the Times
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: SUEDE, PULP, JARVIS COCKER, STRANGELOVE
In A Word: Stimulating