Love Is Dead
The words "Brett Anderson" and "veteran" definitely weren't meant to fit together in the same sentence, but with a decade and a half's work behind him, the ex-Suede frontman can hardly be called a newcomer either.
And yet, by some strange quirk of pedantry, the fact 'Love Is Dead' is his first solo release does indeed qualify him as being a novice, or at least in the singer/songwriter-all-on-his-own some stakes at any rate.
As a precursor for his self-titled album, 'Love Is Dead' is pretty much what you'd expect it to be - lavish, grandiose, elegant and distinctive - and more to the point, exactly what any long-term fan of Anderson through his previous works would want it to sound like.
Vocally, Anderson sounds more heartfelt, and dare I say it, mature, than on his more recent releases, and 'Love Is Dead' is a damn sight more memorable than anything he recorded as part of his most recent project, The Tears, which was always doomed to failure from the word "go".
The string section gives it an added edge, somewhat surprisingly, while the hookline isn't a million miles away from the coda of one of his initial employers' biggest hits, 'Stay Together'.
While this could be considered as being a return to form, the big test will come with the long player, but on the back of 'Love Is Dead', hopes are expectantly high.