Morrissey has come out with a landmark album. Just 13 years after his previous landmark, self-defining “You Are the Quarry”, Morrissey fittingly, and thankfully for his mob of new and old fans, comes out with an album that redefines the malaise in this world while also pointing out love and survivalmin a new way.
Morrissey proves through his lyrics that he holds no -ism, just an unfunneled and unfiltered pointbof view which has caught up with the times. He’s against war (listen to the hauntingly first person death spell of “I Bury the Living”), police brutality (“Who Will Protect Us from the Police”), and the media (My Love, I’d Do Anything for You” and “Spent the Day in Bed”). Yet he is for Brexit, in the mockingly sardonic “Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage”, where everyone just seems to need to exit to getntheir freedom back. Wht proves to be the point lyrically is the movement against the stereotypes brought about by neoliberalism. Morrissey doesn’t care what his critics think. And this emboldens the album and makes it into a storybook against politically correct angst.
Morrissey has evolved immensely musicallyas well. His band has tightened up their sound while broadening tehir musical horizons. One of the best songs on the album is the controversially titled “The Girl From Tel Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel”. Morrissey takes on the role of jazz lounge singer and does it impeccably. You expect to see him taking over Bill Murray’s role in “Lost in Translation”, but without the trite hoopla. Every song stands by itself yet is an important piece in making the album mesh. The ever-popular “Spent the Day in Bed” and “I Wish You Lonely” are cute pop tunes and stand alone, yet they are there ro inrtroduce us to media corruption and loss of individualism. They re mild intros to more serious songs. Andmit seems that the more serious song is, the more heavy or dramatic the music gets. The band goes from heavy rock to ballad,to pop, to jazz, to something akin to country, etc… in a natural fashion.
Easily the best album of the year, Morrissey proves that he stiill has it in his late-50s. This is Morrissey’s best music since “You Are the Quarry” and the 3rd-best album he’s made.
POSTSCRIPT: Not sure what Lili Simmons has to do with the album, but I include her here as part of the memory of those classic The Smiths album covers. The true fans of old get my drift.