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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 168
Wed. July 17, 2013

“Oceans”
Suede

2002

“♫ But
there’s
oceans
between
us
♫”

For all of the problems Suede devotees have with the over production malaise that was 2002’s A New Morning, nothing can be worse than what the band did with “Oceans.” Swept aside as a hidden track, lyrically “Oceans” was one of the most moving lyrical pieces that Brett Anderson wrote for the Morning sessions. In his book, Suede: Love & Poison, author Dave Barnett, described “Oceans” as “The results were hugely encouraging, being both fresh and melodic, and with a crucial improvement in Brett’s lyrics. “Oceans” in particular seemed to reveal a more honest singer, no longer hiding behind his increasingly worn-out lexicon of Suede clichés.”

Far from being a cliché, “Oceans” deserved to be one of the standout cuts on A New Morning. How could a song like “Oceans” that Brett Anderson recited at The Bristol Poetry Slam, along with Suede classics like “The Living Dead” be relegated to hidden track status? Talking about his failings during those Morning sessions, Brett said this about Suede’s most infamous album, “I think its biggest problem was its lack of vision. it sort of wanted to be a hazy, bucolic record, seeped in sun-kissed melancholia but of course was inevitably compromised by the need to please radio 1 and the NME.

Speaking of, is it just me or does A New Morning’s “Oceans” sounds like the dripping resurrected offspring of “The Living Dead.” At first echoing a Morrissey/Marr-Strangeways’ “Last Night I Dreamt that Somebody Loved Me” like lament about the disintegration of a marriage; maybe “Oceans” is something more deeper and personal message to the legions of Suede faithful fans around the world. I believe “Oceans” is a modern retelling on Led Zeppelin’s similarly titled classic “The Ocean.” Maybe, Morning’s “Oceans” is like Zep’s Houses of the Holy song that the band dedicated as a lyrical ode to their audience? “Oceans” sounds a parting song that Anderson penned to his followers, reflecting how Brett felt about the band at the end of the Morning sessions when Anderson said, “I suppose in my heart of hearts I knew at the time that the band had come to the end of the line creatively but it was like being faced with the heart-breaking decision of having a much loved pet put to sleep.”

Instead of being the divorce epic, “Oceans” reflected the disconnection of the powerful light and lyrical beauty that was Suede. A lovely number that mirrored the disillusion Anderson felt towards the later days of fronting his beloved Suede. Forget about all your preconceived notions about Suede’s 2002 album, Anderson once told The Guardian UK the secret to A New Morning when he explained, “Well, you only need to listen to A New Morning to realize… that the title is very much a metaphor. For me, the album is about the sense that you can only experience real happiness if you’ve experienced real sadness.”

“Oceans” reflects the love and admiration that Brett once felt on stage and in song had washed up inside the teardrop beauty that was wasted as a hidden track on A New Morning. Get swept away inside the waving good-bye opus in one of Brett Anderson’s finest lyrical moments—2002’s “Oceans.”

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