To fully enjoy the dismality of Suede's Night Thoughts, play the album from start to finish on a lonely night, while pondering how the Britpop band can sound so sad three years after a solid comeback.
Seemingly, after 2013's Bloodsports proved they still have a knack for excellent music, the quintet has discarded all desire to make radio-friendly rock.
A thread of rawness and vulnerability links the songs, and frontman Brett Anderson sings until his voice cracks, with lines like "Every word that I've ever said is empty as air."
As members approach middle-age, themes of regret ( I Don't Know How to Reach You), insecurity ( Tightrope) and loneliness ( Learning to Be) abound throughout the record. Verses are short, with long guitar solos wallowing in heavy lyrics.
And yet euphoric moments are to be found in tracks like Outsiders and the catchy No Tomorrow.
On What I'm Trying to Tell You, Anderson sings: "I don't know the right expressions/I don't have too much intuition". He can feign a creative block all he wants; the truth is, Suede has certainly got it going on with this album.