Morrisey has been angry for a long time. Well actually I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t angry at someone or something. The Smiths offered some brilliant jangly indie rock with Morrissey delivering witty satire on all the things wrong in the world in his eyes. He doesn’t like a lot of things that a lot of people enjoy but then there was always some joy in seeing a man deliver such a horrible look on the world with such wit. He also touched on some topics such as meat eating in a way that was really intriguing. Without The Smiths both musically and lyrically, indie rock and pop would sound a lot different than it does today.
Modern day Morrissey is a different story. Modern day Morrissey has all the anger of his youth if not more, but has lost the way in which he can make it entertaining. Maybe that’s the point and he wants to deliver his messages in the bluntest way possible and he wants to get his message out there (which is why he released all of those pretentious spoken word versions of the tracks). The problem is, he doesn’t seem to actually have much to say or he doesn’t say anything in a way that will inspire anyone to do anything. Morrissey is using this album as a platform to show everyone how great his morals are instead of genuinely trying to get people to do something or start any sort of revolution. The lyrics are delivered in a way that sounds like an old man shouting at a youth in the most patronising way possible with lyrics like ‘Oh you poor little fool’ and blunt lyrics like ‘Every time you vote you support the system’. Lyrics like the latter feel irrelevant. At the recent local elections voting was at an all time low and things don’t seem any better for it. If anything things are worse, as UKIP gets more and more support. And that’s just ONE example. He just seems to moan without putting much thought as to what he’s saying or any thought as to how he wants people to react to his lyrics which makes them unreactable.
Because of the fact he seems to just want everyone to hear him moan he actually gives very little thought to anything musical at all. There are times when you wonder if the album might have benefited from just being a spoken word album after all. The melodies are extremely dull if they even exist at all. It’s hard to believe that the man who wrote ‘This Charming Man’ wrote these songs even if he doesn’t have Marr’s brilliant guitar work behind him any more. I imagine that any sort of ideas the band had such as the Spanish guitar work in ‘Earth Is The Loneliest Planet’ have been instantly toned down by Morrissey so that it wouldn’t overpower his lyricism. This makes the instrumentation sound like pure filler throughout the entire album. It’s only there to lay a bit of groundwork for Morrissey’s ‘Poetry’. His voice also sounds like it’s had it’s day now with him sounding less and less exciting by the year.
There is absolutely nothing new or nothing that makes you think on this album. For those of you who enjoy hearing Morrissey rant about nothing just because of the fact it’s him then you may well enjoy this album. The rest of civilisation however, shall be going back to when he still had some excitement in his pretentious ways.