Dog Man Star – Suede
After making a fantastically successful self-titled debut album, Suede broke off into a seemingly horrible direction, forgoing their Bowie-esque art rock in favor of a much darker sound for their sophomore release.
The recording of Dog Man Star was plagued with issues. Whether it was frontman Brett Anderson’s drug-infused lyrical rants or lead guitarist Bernard Butler leaving the group mid-recording, Suede’s decision to seclude themselves in a mansion during the making of the record provided strong negative energy. As a result, Dog Man Star finds itself in a depressive spiral but stands as an extremely cohesive and fluid movement.
Heartbreak is the unifying theme of Dog Man Star, with songs such as “New Generation” and “The Asphalt World” falling into step with a flurry of strings and a self-indulgent motivation like no other.
Tracks to listen to: “We Are The Pigs,” “The Wild Ones,” “The Asphalt World”
Different Class – Pulp
Contrary to the deeply dark and indulgent sounds of Suede, Pulp sought out a different style of Britpop, combining modern sexual themes with melodic and sarcastic songs to create a biting, bitter sound on their 1995 album Different Class.
Although the group spent their first 17 years in obscurity, Different Class skyrocketed Pulp to stardom off of their one-of-a-kind sound. Taking on sex and social classes, lead singer Jarvis Cocker sticks to his quirky and distinctive playbook by incorporating compassion with a spice of satire in his lyrics and vocals.
What makes this album special is how exciting it is to hear. Theatrical instrumentation riddles the LP, and new-wave pop finds its way into the mix to create a sonically diverse and memorable record.
Tracks to listen to: “Common People,” “Disco 2000,” “Underwear”