Suede by Dean Chalkley

They made it. The perfect album. After almost 30 years of career, the British band Suede delivered with AUTOFICTION an overwhelming opus, both rough and luxuriant, both theatrical and “punk” (word used by Anderson himself), probably the best stuff Suede has ever created since Coming Up (1996). Nevertheless, that’s not really the point I want to talk about here. I’m not a rock critic and anyway there’s now a collection of unanimously praising chronicles in magazines and on the internet. Actually, the fact is that when AUTOFICTION was released at the end of September, having taking refuge at my father’s place I had been navigating in the abysses for more than three months: I was horribly weak, filled with despair, the spirit occupied by morbid ideas, living maybe the most severe and devastating depressive episode of my life. I could not listen music, I could not read, I could hardly watch few minutes of a movie… I could not focus on anything. Hence, I listened only one time AUTOFICTION and, realizing what level it was and in the same time how I was incapable of fundamentally penetrating it, I decided to put it aside; furthermore, I did not want AUTOFICTION to become the soundtrack of my depression. I waited almost one month and, when I felt I was slowly recovering from my non-living period, I dove into the Suede’s album. Repeat mode. There was a click. There was a kick. I soon guessed AUTOFICTION was the magical substance I’d been waiting years to infuse. I do not mean this new Suede album is a med, but… In fact, yes, I mean it. More precisely, rapidly, I realized how AUTOFICTION could become a real mental springboard. “15 again”? I’ve always been 15 with Suede but, this time, it’s not been really a question of age – it’s been of question of how to survive and live again when you suffer from a deep mood disorder. You know, when you’re bipolar, sometimes, when it’s time, a few details can be sufficient to enable you re-climbing the slope of depression towards subnormal condition or, frequently, to leave depression behind in the course of one or two days. As I told previously, I felt a click; I felt a kick — and then came the surge. Guiding me, inspiring me, giving me strength — Suede, have you saved my life one more time, as I referred to as many times in this blog (especially about my life in 1996 and the album Coming Up)? It may seem exaggerated to say “yes” again, though undoubtedly my mental health and my life would not have been the same without AUTOFICTION. Brett, Mat, Neil, Richard, Simon, oh putain, THANK YOU. I’m tired with bipolar disorder-related roller-coasters but, for the moment, I’m living life day by day, feeling dramatically happy every time I launch the last Suede’s album, and rediscovering the pleasure of listening music in general. Of course, this year, with all my health complications, I missed two Suede concerts in Paris — in May in Salle Pleyel for the anniversary of Coming Up and just a few weeks ago in La Maroquinerie for the promotion of AUTOFICTION. Such a pity. Should I turn manic and take a plane in order to assist a Suede concert in Northern America?… However, I’m already in a plane with songs like “The Only Way I Can Love You” or “Shadow Self”. AUTOFICTION, best legal drug, best unclassified antidepressant? Where’s the plane going?

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