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Hard to believe that it’s been almost 10 years since Suede glammed its way into the collective pop consciousness with its frisky and fabulous self-titled debut. And now here we are four albums later, and Suede hasn’t—despite the rebirth promised by the Dylanesquely titled A New Morning—changed one iota. Brett Anderson’s lyrics still aspire to insipidity; evidently, he’s made it his life’s work to write something more breathtakingly stupid than Noel Gallagher’s “Slowly walking down the hall/Faster than a cannonball.” And on “Untitled,” he comes close: “And like flies on a windscreen/And like insects in glue/We could stick together/If you wanted to.” But hey, who listens to Suede for the lyrics? A New Morning opens with the positively lush “Positivity,” on which Anderson says, “The birds sing for you” while a string section plays a not-so-bittersweet symphony behind him. On “Street Life,” the boys come up with the butchest street rocker since “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” Indeed: Since Suede’s beginnings, critics have compared Anderson to Bowie, when the better analogy would be Sir Elton. Both share a knack for spinning emotion out of what are, at best, serviceable songs and bad lyrics, using nothing but their voices and a dramatic sense that teeters on the edge of schmaltz. Listening to Anderson breathe life into the bathetic “Lost in T.V.” is like partaking in a miracle: However does he do it? Unfortunately, though, Anderson ain’t Jesus, and sometimes Lazarus stays dead. So it is with the terminally dim “Obsessions,” on which Anderson delivers such head-scratching observations as “It’s the T-shirts that you choose like you’re in the Air Force” amid wailing harmonica and a pounding drum that would sound tougher if it weren’t smothered in violins. Still, you could do worse than pick up A New Morning. ‘Cause, as Mr. Anderson wisely points out, “Your smile is your credit card.”—Michael Little