Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dog Man Star
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
A year and one album after being heralded as England's "next big thing," The London Suede is hurting. Forced by a lawsuit to change its name in the U.S. and suffering from the mid-recording defection of wall-of-sound gu... more »
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A year and one album after being heralded as England's "next big thing," The London Suede is hurting. Forced by a lawsuit to change its name in the U.S. and suffering from the mid-recording defection of wall-of-sound guitarist Bernard Butler, the band's second album makes you wonder what the fuss was about. dog man star is flaccid, melodramatic glam-rock that cribs even more heavily than the group's debut from vintage David Bowie. Brett Anderson's posing and emoting simply isn't enough to carry a tune, and none of the 13 songs here approach the fiery drive of the debut album's "Metal Mickey" or "Animal Nitrate." --Jim DeRogatis
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Let the century die to violent hands
GZA | London | 10/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Suede's `Dog Man Star' teeters frustratingly on the edge of greatness, but in the final reckoning falls short of being a landmark record. Though at times Suede showcase their once lavish talents to startling effect, at others they are disappointingly mundane. However, the highpoints of `Dog Man Star' are the highest points the band ever reached. The recording of Suede's second album was dogged by the increasingly fractious relationship between singer Brett Anderson and guitarist Bernard Butler, which eventually saw Butler walk out on the band before `Dog Man Star' was even finished. This marked the end of an era for the band labelled as the great white hopes of 90s British guitar music. Though they went on to greater commercial success with `Coming Up', the heart had been ripped out of the band with Butler's departure, which also marked the end of one of the great British rock n roll songwriting partnerships. The album's opening salvo is impressive: the mantra-like drone of `Introducing the Band' sets the sexed-up, fetishistic mood adroitly, Brett opining, somewhat bizarrely, "Steal me a savage subservient son/Get him shacked up, bloodied up and sucking on a gun". Marvellous. `We Are the Pigs' was perhaps not politically the wisest choice for first single, but with it's sleazy brass section and Butler's guitar histrionics, it provides an ominous and seductive call to arms for the disenchanted. `Heroine' is Anderson's tribute to Marilyn Monroe, but `Candle in the Wind' it certainly aint. Butler's helium-fuelled guitar line coupled with Brett's Byronesque lyrics, brings an otherwordly quality to another standout track. Yet five minutes later `Heroine' pales into insignificance once the final bars of `The Wild Ones' fade from your speakers. This is Suede at their very best, a plucked acoustic riff and Brett's surprisingly rich tenor, joined by a string section, before Butler remembers to plug his electric guitar in, and the rest of the band come out of the shadows. `The Wild Ones' is a beautiful, Romantic swoon of a song which will melt your heart, if you have one. As Anderson implores: "And oh if you stay, I'll chase the rain-blown fields away/We'll shine like the morning and sing in the sun oh if you stay/We'll be the wild ones running with the dogs today" you'll remember just how vital and exciting it felt to listen to Suede when they were still contenders.I guess the comedown is inevitable. With a band like Suede, it's all too easy to step over the line between wasted glamour and overblown ridicule. Unfortunately many of the middle tracks on the album smell suspiciously like filler.'The Power', `This Hollywood Life' and `The 2 of Us' are overegged, lacklustre affairs for the most part. It's not until the gentle strum of `Black or Blue' ushers in the panoramic, tear-stained majesty of `The Asphalt World' that `Dog Man Star' splutters into glorious life once more. At nearly 10 minutes long this is a truly epic affair - even if it Brett's lyrics are about a junkie prostitute! However this is Bernard Butler's song through and through, and the sheer invention of his guitar work is breathtaking, bordering on prog but never overstepping the mark. `The Asphalt World' puts what could be called unfair pressure on anything that follows, and `Still Life' is, not surprisingly, something of a letdown. Perhaps it would have been wiser to go for a more subdued last track, but Suede wouldn't be Suede without attempting an even more grandiose closer. However this time the strings seem overblown and, to be honest, your senses will still be reeling from the previous track.`Dog Man Star' represents a fascinating legacy from one of the best British bands of recent decades. Just when it seemed the world was theirs for the taking, the usual acrimonious split between the two talents in the band nearly derailed them. Though Suede recovered with a new guitarist and a decent album in `Coming Up', the record that almost destroyed them is decidedly more interesting in its breadth of ambition, which at times borders on pompousness but at others scales heights other bands can only dream about."
Without any doubt, the best album I own (out of 250 albums)
firstname.lastname@example.org | Dublin, Ireland | 10/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have owned this album for six years and it still surprises me how good it is. You'd have a hard time trying to convince me that this album is not brimming with forgotten classics. It is the worlds loss that in twenty or thirty years time songs like The 2 of Us, Still Life and The Asphalt World will not be looked upon and remembered with the same wonder and reverence that we now hold for Imagine, Strawberry Fields Forever and A Whiter Shade of Pale. The timing and circumstances of it's release were very unfortunate. At a time when much more fun records were out; Park Life, Definitely Maybe it would be difficult to convince a fickle public to invest in Dog Man Star's dark charms. Also the departure of Bernard Butler completely overshadowed its release, the media were far more interested in kicking a band when they were down than mourning its creators loss. Singles fell on deaf ears. Even though they contained seductive and all consuming melodies they didn't show the wider plan of this visionary album. The songs are of another world, a half-lit underworld where an unfathomable sadness permeates ever failed romance and lost dream. You almost feel that the people of this world are helplessly alone, that they cannot communicate with each other atall and that this interaction is forbidden and is all they really long for. Unquestionably a great album, but not for everyone. You do have to be of a certain temperament for this music to take over your world. If you found their previous album compelling and you have a soft spot for the bed-sit tristess of the Smiths then this album is for you.."
Best Suede album
Claudia Dobre | Bucuresti, Romania | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Long-term listening to Dog Man Star has convinced me of the following: 1) It is a mature album, with complex tunes having intricate melodic lines (Daddy's Speeding, The Asphalt World, Still LIfe, Black or Blue), which cannot be easily learned according to a "la la la" pattern: the vocals and the guitar start from the same point, then they go apart in different, very convoluted (sort of like cigar smoke) directions, striving for different courses, to reunite in the end in the same direction (take The Asphalt World); 2) It has a special atmosphere, very dark indeed, someone said, although I can't remember who, the darkest dark, the dark before dawn, but not hopeless, not suicidal; 3) It is very original. I have listened to Bowie in my life time and have not noticed any similarity whatsoever; 4) It is, indeed, despite some boyish momentum here and there, an intellectual album (sorry if it sounds insulting), but not openly intellectual, like Radiohead; that's why you won't find it in any charts or tops (Like 100 best albums ever in Britain, with Oasis at number 3 or something). And it's not a matter of reasoning, you either are on the same wavelength or not. I don't know how "rational" these arguments are."