Brett Anderson, Wilderness (Drowned In Sound) ****

BRETT Anderson has come a long way since heralding Britpop as the frontman with Suede, where he formed a formidable songwriting partnership with Bernard Butler.

Following the demise of Suede, there was an ill-fated reunion with Butler in the lacklustre The Tears, before going it alone. Wilderness is his second solo outing and shows Anderson at his most thoughtful and mournful. Recorded in a week, it’s a stark, intimate affair, featuring only piano, guitar and cello with guest vocals by French actress Emmanuelle Seigner on the lovely Back To You.

The nine-track CD charts the course of a relationship over nine songs – and half an hour. The tone throughout is sorrowful, but poetic, as Anderson opens his (broken) heart. It begins hauntingly with A Different Place, all melancholic strings and moody piano – and carries on in a similar vein. A beautiful collection of ballads from bedsitland.

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