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  1. #126
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  2. #127
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev7 View Post
    I loved the Smiths when I was young, they were very popular in France. My Q is: has Morrissey always been such a misanthrope? (I suspect I know the answer to this semi-rhetorical Q...)

    (The Times of 17 Nov.)

    ALBUM REVIEW. Pop review: Morrissey: Low in High School

    Morrissey was always awkward and morose, but now he is danger of sounding like the pub philosopher no one wants to get stuck with

    The singer has gone from angry young man to sad old grump, says Will Hodgkinson


    And it was all going so well. After spending the past decade biting whatever hand was still prepared to feed him, his so-so Autobiography being published as a Penguin Classic and falling out with one record label after another, Morrissey looked set to enter a new purple patch in September with the shock release ofSpent the Day in Bed.

    This Roxy Music-style paean to the joys of pulling up the sheets and ignoring the world was Moz at his best: exciting, rebellious, free-thinking. A subsequent concert for the BBC reaffirmed the power of his onstage charisma — until he claimed the far-right politician Anne Marie Waters’s failure to secure the Ukip leadership was a fix.

    The comment was interpreted widely as endorsement for Waters’s anti-Islam viewpoint. Actually, it was more likely a wind-up for people who enjoy being wound up, at which it was phenomenally successful, but it also set the tone for this mean-minded album.

    Morrissey, the man who once made misfits feel they were not alone, now seems to be saying that, actually, we are all alone, and what’s more governments, the media and pretty much everyone else are collaborating against us. While he stops short of claiming that we are run by a shady cabal of lizard people, this paranoid tone is suited more to a stoned student firing off 3am comment posts than one of Britain’s sharpest pop stars.

    “Teach your kids to recognise and despise all the propaganda filtered down by the dead echelon’s mainstream media,” he recommends on My Love I’d Do Anything for You, no doubt including this review as propaganda to recognise and despise.

    The advice would have more impact if Morrissey didn’t sound like a pub crooner backed by surviving members of the Seventies glam stompers the Glitter Band. “I carry out the powerful vulgarian view. I scatter gloom. Do as I say or I’ll scatter you,” he commands on I Bury the Living. It is intended as a description of the morally compromised life of a soldier, but sounds more like Morrissey with a hangover. And the album’s blend of rock thud and melodramatic, Jacques Brel-style crooning makes you cry out for Johnny Marr’s lightness of touch with the Smiths, which balanced the singer’s rainy, Larkinesque lyricism so perfectly.

    Even when Morrissey looks in the mirror on the autobiographical Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s up on Stage, he still points the finger outwards, turning what could have been a moment of self-examination into an accusation.

    Mocking laughter follows a coda of “everybody’s heading for the exit”, which sounds self-pitying and accusatory, as if addressing people running in horror from one of his concerts. Then again he might be singing about Brexit, which he has hailed as “magnificent”, because confusing political statements pop up throughout the album.

    The Girl From Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel is a cabaret-like piano ballad about the Middle East erupting into conflict “because the land weeps oil”, while on the maudlin Israel he claims the country’s enemies bitch and whine simply because they are jealous of the Jewish state, an original summation of Israeli-Arab relations if nothing else.

    Only the singalong All the Young People Must Fall in Love offers positivity, with Morrissey positing that presidents come and go and billions are spent on nuclear weapons, but young people will still find ways of making life worthwhile.

    Of course, Morrissey was always awkward and morose. It was at the heart of his appeal. And he still inspires a rabid following across Latin America, plus a powerful homoerotic pull on middle-aged men with quiffs the world over. However, an angry young man can become a bitter old grouch if he allows himself and, as satisfying as it is to point out all that is wrong with the world, after a certain age you should offer hope and wisdom alongside cynicism and superiority. Otherwise, you’re just the pub philosopher nobody wants to end up getting stuck at the bar with.
    I presume Johnny Marr did, indeed, derive his stage name from the French expression?

  3. #128
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
    If you can't say anything nice...
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    No it was to clarify the pronunciation and because his real name was shared with the Buzzcocks guitarist. He also claims to have wanted a similar name to Marc, as in Bolan.

  4. #129
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    Shortcake ...no, Custard Cream! ...no, Jammie Dodger...
    For all your "Bah! Humbug!" Christmas needs ...

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    (From here, should you be interested.)

  5. #130
    Satchmo Distel's Avatar
    If you can't say anything nice...
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    mp3 of Morrissey Spacey comments (from 24:00): http://www.spiegel.de/media/media-42232.mp3

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