wed 24/04/2019

CD: Sleeper - The Modern Age | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sleeper - The Modern Age

CD: Sleeper - The Modern Age

The song remains much the same for the reformed Britpoppers

The Modern Age: old sound/new words

While Oasis have so far resisted the temptation of the big pay-off that a Gallagher family reunion would ensure, plenty of other Britpoppers have been considerably less coy about getting back together since the heady days of the 1990s. We’ve already had reunions from Blur (albeit temporarily), Suede, Dodgy and even Shed Seven. Now though, it is the turn of Louise Wener’s four-piece, Sleeper.

Slipping easily back into their old sound with New Wave guitars and bitter-sweet, spoken-sung vocals, The Modern Age could easily be a reissue from Sleeper’s first time around. However, while the sound is much the same, the subject matter of Wener’s lyrics have taken a considerably adult turn by taking in big houses, new cars, kids, divorce and depression. This isn’t to say that she has completely left behind the snarky edge that lifted Sleeper above much of the rest of the Britpop pack though and “Look At You Now” particularly puts the boot into established bands that rest on their laurels and just bang out their best sellers with its “Still playing all your hits/All your hits” refrain.

Elsewhere, “The Sun Also Rises” adds some electronics to Sleeper’s Britpop stew but any experimentation is all too brief. “Big Black Sun” and “Car Into The Sea”, however, aren’t afraid to slow things down and the somewhat resigned take on divorce, “More than I Do” also mellows things out before moving up a gear as it goes along. Nevertheless, the guitar-driven lively pop of “Dig” and “Cellophane” still suggest that the band have a fair amount of punch to offer. So, while Sleeper aren’t completely reheating things from 20 years ago, it just has to be hoped that their reappearance isn’t going to herald a rash of reformations from lesser also-rans in search of a cash injection, like Menswear and Kenickie.

Wener’s lyrics have taken a considerably adult turn by taking in big houses, new cars, kids, divorce and depression

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters