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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Morrissey – World Peace is None of Your Business

Everyone’s favourite middle aged moaner returns with another eagerly awaited collection of embittered crooning performances. And very good it is too, despite all the anti-hype that generally accompanies every Morrissey release. This time the twist to the standard template is the adding of a global element, both lyrically and musically, with Mozza moaning on about world conflicts, bullfighting and the generic cruelty of humanity. The Boz Boorer backing track, without ever approaching authentic ‘world’ music, at least tips its hat at some latin inspired flamenco style guitar on several tracks. The prospect of Morrissey actually singing along to some serious world music exponents is almost too mouth watering to contemplate and unfortunately it will never happen, but I can dream.
On the upside it’s a very contemporary album lyrically and our hero not only deals with global conflict but throws in some attacks on A-Level pressures, animal cruelty, art critics, as well as his own introverted pain and loneliness. The surprising thing is that after all these years and a staunch refusal to reinvent himself (Bowie style), it’s still one of the best albums you could wish for, with some sing-a-long stormers mixed in with the thoughtful melancholy ballads. Surely he should be knocking out a CD out every year Eels style? How difficult can it be?

Just like REM albums, it’s difficult not to like something about every track and they all have their individual merits. The highlights however are probably the archetypal Morrissey bellowing yodel of ‘Kiss Me A Lot’, the sixth formers anthem ‘Staircase at the University’ and the philosophical classic that is ‘Earth is the Loneliest Planet’. My favourite is on the excellent bonus disk, which is incidentally well worth the extra expense, in the form of ‘Art Hounds’ which is a bitter rant at highbrow art critics, but contains one of the best false endings in history and a fantastic call to arms from Mozza to ‘take my hand if you cannot stand this fake world’. It’s a work of genius.

It transpires that Morrissey has been unwell and we wish him a speedy recovery and the encouragement to keep making albums. They are just as relevant and enjoyable now as they ever were and perhaps more so with the current dearth of intelligent and original artists. Ignore the poor reviews, this is up there with his best.

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