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Barriers (Suede): Some Thoughts

This is another of my so many mentions of Suede. I feel very pity I didn’t pay attention to them at my younger age. Also muse is not having new single or album coming out, so I have reasons to stay swinging with Suede.

Credit: Barriers (Suede Single Cover), Image from

Barriers is such a song that I don’t know what to best comment about. It is supposed to be the opening of Suede’s comeback album (2013) after their reformation in 2010. Honestly, I think at that moment they really wanted to find the glory from their successful youth back. Therefore the Bloodsports album is a difficult one to hear, by this difficult I mean in a good way. There are many sophisticate arrangements and rich layers of melodies in basically each song. Some resonate much like old Suede, but overall I personally feel this album totally flips into a new page.

I must admit at first I didn’t pay too much attention to this album (again!), compared to their latest the Blue Hour (2018). Somehow recently I have been very obsessed with this album and actually it turns out to be my favorite in the latest three. Only 10 songs but each is carefully produced. Especially I am so fascinated with lyrics, and I love how mature Suede has become with those beautiful words.

Ok, I should bring the topic back to Barriers, here I want to share its music video.

No members really show up, only the moments when they play instruments. Seems like they want to emphasize the fact that they rather find the true moments when playing music. I am very drawn to the subtle expression but I do hope for more. Barriers is such an obvious love song to Suede, but I don’t think so (as usual). I think this song is back by a story talking more about Suede’s back after long silence and solitude.

My favorite lines are:

And our world, it was wrapped in tinsel,
Invitations and fountain pens
But the heart is a lonely hunter
It trapped you once and it will trap you again

These words connect with the chorus so well:

But will they love you, the way, the way I loved you?
We jumped over the barriers
Jumped over the barriers

Somehow I think of this song as Suede’s confession on their fear about the world after their split. Even though they can be so cherished in 90s, 2000s is a total different story. Maybe it’s like a poisoned candy, metaphorizing the audience/listeners as their lover. Instead of enjoying the fads of the comeback effect, Suede is longing for a more profound and longterm relationship with their fans.

At another aspect, this may relate so much to many people, and to me as well. During the pursing of dreams when you reach a stage, then another comes and you fall back. When trying to pull yourself together and get up again, you still have the doubts about everything you have done.

I cannot imagine what best describes a state of mind when facing changes. It is such an exciting but a terrible-feeling moment. It is a long trip only I can ever experience and know what it feels like exactly. When leaving the comfort zone, that is definitely not a good feeling, which makes me so uncomfortable and every second I am fighting with the thinking: to give up or not. But like the song says, jumped over the barriers. When thinking about this I am already jumping out of the barriers. I am more keen to describing barriers as a progressive state because this life is still long enough to have any kinds of challenges coming up.

It will be such an interesting finding that my state of mind changes as the songs, from snowblind to barriers. Something more personal I am not here to explain, but indeed I know how I became so obsessed with Suede’s music.




a l c n h. is a personal writing, sharing and collecting space of music, art and science. Always exploring, sometimes goes back, sometimes goes forth.

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a l c n h.

a l c n h.

A wabi-sabi pursuer in love with rock music.

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