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Here Come the Tears is the debut (and it appears last) album by The Tears and was released in 2005. The Tears are Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler of Suede fame and this album of majestic glitter dusted peaks sadly seems like it might be the last time they ever work together. The history of The Tears is certainly interesting and knotty. Around 1994, Suede were the best and most hyped group in Britain and putting the finishing touches to their much awaited second album Dog Man Star. But a rift had opened up between them and their brilliant but temperamental and sensitive guitarist Bernard Butler. One day, Butler picked up his guitars in the recording studio and walked out on Suede, leaving them to finish the album without him and find a new guitarist. Butler apparently loathed the lead singer Brett Anderson and had personal problems at the time. He'd had enough. It was sort of like a nineties equivalent of Johnny Marr walking out on The Smiths after Meat Is Murder and therefore making The Queen Is Dead impossible. The Anderson/Butler partnership promised great things but it was over before it had hardly begun. What would Suede have sounded like in the end if Butler had stayed? Here Comes the Tears supplies the answer and is more or less a new Suede album - just without the original bass player and drummer. Anderson and Butler working together again for the first time in ten years was one of the most unlikely reunions/reconciliations imaginable and obviously too good to be true because they drifted apart again soon after and left this as the one and only Tears album. The salient reason why two men who by all accounts couldn't stand each other patched things up to form a new group is that both were in a creative rut. Suede had fizzled out and split up and left Anderson bemoaning the fact that he'd "lost his demon" and needed to find it again while Butler's solo album and partnership with David McAlmont had only yielded a handful of good songs and hardly set the world alight. Could they recapture some of the old magic of the first Suede album and their once mighty partnership? The answer is yes. It doesn't have the rush, vivacity and spark of the early Suede material but at its best Here Come the Tears is still amazing.
The rules they set were that they would not be anything to do with Suede (although they did perform a couple of Suede songs on tour in the end) or be known as Anderson & Butler but form a new group instead. It wasn't to last but Here Come the Tears reaches some elegant sparkled heights and is a beautiful record at times. It eschews the glam of the first Suede album (though not the melodramatic weepies) and the Gothic grandstanding of Dog Man Star and presents a mixture of pulchritudinous ballads and straight ahead guitar pop/rock. It's carried off with great panache and Anderson has clearly got his "demon" back - delivering his best vocal performance for years and conjuring the type of catchy choruses that seemed to elude him in the twilight of Suede Mark 2. There are a couple of slower songs here where he sounds exactly like he did on the first Suede album and with Butler's lush wall of sound reverberating guitars it is as if no time has passed at all and they still back in 1993 making songs together like they used to in the early days. Only on a couple of occasions does Here Come the Tears meander unnecessarily and it's mainly due to the middle of the road incarnation of Bernard Butler from his solo album (where he tried desperately to be Neil Young) emerging again. It is though a joy to have Butler's guitars as a backdrop for Anderson's meditations again. The lyrics are refreshingly simple too as Anderson has dropped his Suede World lexicon - his shorthand which was fun for a while but became torturous in the end. There are only so many times you can use the words concrete and neon. There are thirteen songs here and most of them are excellent. In a weird way this is what Suede's 1996 album Coming Up might have sounded like if Bernard Butler had written the music. His guitars are infinitely richer and more complex than those of Richard Oakes (the teenage prodigy who replaced him in Suede in 1994).
The first song Refugees was a single and it's a fantastic way to start. A wondrous opening guitar riff that could only be Bernard Butler and Anderson singing better than he has done for years. No theatrics or silly voices. It's a very immediate and sleek pop single with pleasant enough and straight forward lyrics. "And we're all refugees, And we're all drifting like leaves..." The sawmill chime of guitars that begins this is soooooo Bernard Butler. Autograph is great too with a strangely affecting chorus that sort of prettily drifts away like a dream you can't quite remember. Anderson paints a picture of mundanity where the simple everyday moments and images in life are the most romantic and the memories to cherish. Someone yawning and drinking coffee in the morning as the sun hazily infiltrates a room. These are not aggressive pop songs in the manner of the early Suede ones but more languid and relaxed. They've lost some of that youthful edge but these are very stylish and graceful tunes that glide past with a dashing swish. Imperfections is much in the same vein and another good one again. Nice lyrics about somebody's imperfections being a part of what makes them attractive in the first place and a few amusing lyrical flourishes ("I want your language to be appalling, I want you to play with my hair in the morning!") by Anderson to go with the wonderful swooping and floating guitars by Bernard Butler.
The Ghost of You is the epic ballad of Here Come the Tears. Elegiac and touching, dripping in sadness and regret. "I threw out the photographs, Like yesterday's flowers..." Butler's guitars are beautifully understated and a perfectly crafted backdrop. This sounds like a cross between something off the first album and The Smiths' I Know It's Over. Brett Anderson would sing this on stage lying flat on his back. It was that sort of song. Two Creatures is ok, not the greatest thing here but serviceable enough while Lovers - another single - is absolutely brilliant. This is an irresistible pop song that is clean, precise and uplifting. The chorus is great but the rest of the song is equally catchy. The entire song is like one big chorus (!) with the stripped down lyrics possessive of a simple but undeniable joy - "All the silly things we do, Reminds me of the flippancy of youth, Kissing under statues, throwing food, Getting into trouble!" Anderson has found his muse again. He's on top form vocally and palpably enjoying himself, a sense of contentment seeping from every pore of his contribution. He's having fun again. Fallen Idol is another slower one (sounds a bit like a Suede b-side from the Dog Man Star era) and is really good with a falsetto chorus and Butler's intricate guitar riffs weaving around the vocal in expert fashion. You could make a case for Fallen Idol being one of the very best songs on Here Come the Tears.
Brave New Century is again reflective and relatively strong. The surfeit of softer sadder songs here could be a problem - as it was on later Suede records - but the presence of Butler maintains the quality control. His music is always interesting with something going on to stop your attention drifting. Perhaps one could say Butler hasn't changed his sound a lot in the previous decade or expanded his range but then if you were that great to start with you probably don't need to. Beautiful Pain and The Asylum are again softly dexterous and shimmer faintly like rippled reflections in a river. I absolutely love Apollo 13 because it sounds for all the world like a song from the first Suede album. It's uncannily like hearing a Suede song from 1993 that has just come to light. Anderson seems to have somehow been transported back in time and found the voice he had when Suede first broke and Butler crafts another touching backdrop with his music. A Love as Strong As Death continues the introspective splendor of as Here Comes the Tears sighs to a close. Maybe there are one or two too many of these types of songs on the record but it took ten years to get Anderson and Butler in a room again and they split soon afterwards so you can't complain. You'd rather have thirteen songs than ten. Here Come the Tears is not completely perfect but it is a strong album and an often glorious reminder of what might have been had Butler not stormed out of a recording studio all those years ago. At the time of writing you can buy Here Come the Tears for around a fiver. It's a must buy for anyone who is a fan of Suede.
For those of you who don't know, the main men behind The Tears are Bernard Butler and Brett Anderson, the same guys from Suede.
Here Come The Tears is far better than the last Suede album, A New Morning. The opening track, Refugees, sounds stunning and reminds you how great these two are when they work together.
This album has more than just a couple of good singles though. Most of the tracks are enjoyable. Brett Anderson's voice sounds brilliant and the jingly-jangly, wailing, strumming guitars fit perfectly.
Imperfection is a sweet love song with Anderson's trademark romantic/trashy lyrics.
The Ghost Of You is genuinely quite haunting and one to get a bit weepy to (if you're a girl....... which I'm not). "The salvation army collected your things, I gave them the jewelry, all the bracelets and rings, your clothes in black bin bags, I gave them away. I tried to move on, but the ghost of you stays"
Track 7 - Lovers was a pretty big single off the album. And rightly so. It's a lovely pop song. A lot of the lyrical content on this album is to do with being in a relationship. Mostly in a cute, lovey-dovey way.
The album lulls a bit for me for a few songs until track 10 - Beautiful Pain which is a cracking ballady song. In fact the remainder of the album is pretty slow and low-key from here on. Slightly boring in places but mostly pretty decent stuff.
I spent a tenner on it when it came out and I still listen to it regularly so if you've any interest in Suede or britrock or indie or any of that kind of thing then I'd say it's worth grabbing a copy for a few quid from somewhere.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
5 The Ghost Of You
6 Two Creatures
8 Fallen Idol
9 Brave New Century
10 Beautiful Pain
11 The Asylum
12 Apollo 13
13 A Love As Strong As Death