Morrissey You Are The Quarry

[Sanctuary; 2004]

Styles: brit pop, pop-rock
Others: The Smiths, The Cure, The Fall

I've always admired Morrissey's attempts at shock value. Throughout his prolonged career, Morrissey has consistently disengaged himself from "reality" and has introduced to us his "immoral" position in life. Don't get me wrong, he isn't the devil by any means, but the picture on his newest album, You Are The Quarry, is somewhat disheartening, especially after hearing his satirical and bitterly playful outlook on America in the opening track, "America Is Not The World." Morrissey, gracefully handling a semi-automatic weapon, seems like an unimaginable oxymoron, a man who usually compels his fans with admirable sensitivity, gripping emotion, and playful storytelling. But rest assured, Morrissey is still the familiar, delicate beast that we've come to known, and You Are the Quarry is proof. So why does this come as no surprise?

To be sure, I have been and will always be grateful for my relationship with Morrissey as an artist as well as a savior. I can personally credit Moz for single-handedly saving me (and countless other fans I'm sure) from my troubled youth, with his witty social commentary and vivid music. But many will admit that Moz's work hasn't been radically diverse since his debut solo album, Viva Hate. In fact, his musical formula hasn't deviated at all. Many tracks are impressions of successful work from past album releases, and as such, it's clear that Moz has developed a motionless vessel of sarcastic furry and proverbial banter with You Are The Quarry, leaving many listeners oblivious to his perspective altogether.

But, as a Morrissey fan, You Are The Quarry boasts a handful of superb songs that would please anyone familiar with his work. The album's first single, "Irish Blood, English Heart," is reminiscent of The Smiths' best work, with its rhythmic guitar strum and its throbbing drum pounding. In fact, the single is among Moz's most affective songs from the last decade. Elsewhere, "I Have Forgiven Jesus" showcases Moz succumbing to his religious demons and exemplifies his passion and commitment to the subject matter, while the steady pace and upbeat melodies of "First Of The Gang To Die" are simply outstanding.

With that said, You Are The Quarry is a fantastic record for Morrissey fans, including myself. But for others who haven't listened or ever been exposed to his work, Quarry wouldn't be the album I'd recommend from his discography. It has been seven years since Morrissey's last album, and his musical output remains almost completely identical to his work in the past. I won't divulge myself in giving any examples of this musical recycling, as I know that all of Morrissey's fans will come to the same conclusion. But again, that really doesn't matter to us anyway: Morrissey is back, and he's brought with him another batch of songs that we can all enjoy for the decades to come.

1. America Is Not The World
2. Irish Blood, English Heart (1st single)
3. I Have Forgiven Jesus
4. Come Back To Camden
5. I'm Not Sorry
6. The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
7. How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel
8. First Of The Gang To Die
9. Let Me Kiss You
10. All The Lazy Dykes
11. I Like You
12. You Know I Couldn't Last

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