Bloodsports, then, doesn’t arrive with quite the hullabaloo which the band probably hoped for but it’s a welcome release nonetheless considering they could undoubtedly have made plenty of money coasting on the old hits. As Brett Anderson has astutely noted, it’s very difficult for reformed acts to put out new material as the risk of interfering with fans’ memories is so great. If Barriers suggested a compelling update of Suede’s sound, however, it proves misleading: it quickly becomes clear that with Bloodsports they have tackled this problem of expectation by slavishly following the blueprint of 1996’s Coming Up (their most successful album). Bloodsports’ artwork clearly nods towards it while both albums have the same number of tracks. Most strikingly, the experimentation which marked much of Suede’s (previously) final years, from the electronica of Head Music to the ‘experimental folk’ of A New Morning, has been completely ditched: these are 10 no-nonsense glam-pop songs which swoop in, do the business and then depart before you have any chance to be bored.
Review at link