Speed is a bit of an oddity in the world of music. It's not a lead in to a tour or a new album, it is simply a labour of love on the part of Bernard Butler. Having recorded this for EMI, and then getting dropped without the label even hearing it, this beautiful record has been simply lying dormant, waiting for the right time. It's finally getting a release and Butler now has his wish.
Speed proves many things, some of which are obvious, and some of which we may have needed reminding about. Firstly, major record companies are idiots. Speed is a fantastic piece of work: all layered harmonies, and Phil Spectoresque production. Quite why McAlmont and Butler were dropped is anyone's guess. But evidently EMI have no soul at all, which is interesting, because Speed is rammed to the hilt with the stuff: it practically has a halo.
Secondly, Bernard Butler was wasted in The Tears. Yes, we may have loved Suede, but when we can have songs like this instead, we'll plump for a McAlmont and Butler reunion everytime.
Thirdly, David McAlmont has one of the greatest voices on the face of the planet. We'd almost forgotten, but here he displays that range and depth that can reduce grown men to tears.
Finally, McAlmont and Butler wrote great songs. Speed is a gargantuan gospel soaked beast, designed to make you go weak at the knees, and it's not even the best thing they've ever done. It is absurdly beautiful though.