Black Rainbows - EMI
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Nevin Martell on February 17, 2012
Since releasing his eponymous solo debut in 2007, Suede frontman Brett Anderson has plotted an increasingly odd path. Turning at times to cinematic scores, folk tunes and classical symphonies for ideas, his albums have gotten progressively farther away from the influences that helped make Suede the best anti-Britpop band of the ’90s. Thankfully, his fourth outing, Black Rainbows, finds him once again turning to his two biggest heroes: Bowie and Morrissey. The result is his best and most kinetic solo album yet. “Crash About to Happen” crackles with a delicate energy that recalls a Dog Man Star–era B-side. Poetic couplets like “ashtray eyes” and “antiseptic skies” litter “Brittle Heart,” showing off his considerable lyrical prowess. And “Thin Men Dancing” shakes and swaggers with the kind of shameless bravado that’s been missing since Head Music. Welcome back, Brett, we were afraid that you had gone off the deep end for good.