Sleeper: The Modern Age

review sleeper x1 cong

Sleeper were (to us, you might disagree) a middle-ranking Britpop band, formed in 1993, notching up eight top 40 hit singles and featuring in the soundtrack of Trainspotting. They split in 1998 but reunited in 2017, and this new album is the first in 21 years. We’d forgotten they existed and can’t hum any of their tunes.

This new album reinforces our opinion they are an ok band, but no more. Doubtless there are fans who’ve waited anxiously for this and will be excitedly dusting off their old albums, trembling at the thought of a tour (which has been and gone, but doubtless festivals will follow).

The album is composed of songs that are pretty good, and ones that highlight why Sleeper are no Blur.

Opener Paradise Waiting is good, a punchy sound and scuzzy guitars, singer Louise Wener’s voice both strong enough to cut through the music but also with a vulnerable quality; a bit Debbie Harry. Look At You Now is next, and it’s also pretty good (it was a single) with a stirring chorus. It appears to be about the disaffected who “don’t like your band any more”, perhaps a comment on modern politics. It’s got some nice loud guitar.

As the album plays through it down to sound as the fans expect. Some songs are made for sunny afternoons at festivals, such as Dig and Cellophane; a lot going on but not a lot of depth. There are some slower songs, such as Car Into The Sea.

Stephen Street produces. It’s ok; we doubt they expect a legion of new fans but old fans and festival goers will fi nd something to like.


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