Morrissey's first new album since the nineties is a triumph. Powered by a formidable quartet, the twin guitars spit fire that matches every wounded issue Morrissey tears into. Never one to mince words, he comes out swingin... more »g, taking America to task and then turning his attention on his homeland with the blistering "Irish Blood, English Heart." You Are the Quarry is so effective because it's less an overt rallying cry than a heartfelt plea for the world to make sense to him again. Elsewhere, relationships are given such a uniquely vibrant vantage point as to render any other angle blind. His wordplay mixes the coy invention of Cole Porter with a feisty contemporary showman's sense of stagecraft, wit, and drama. "Close your eyes, and think of someone you physically admire, and let me kiss you." It doesn't get much better to that. And wedded to charging hooks, these songs will move into your head and never leave. --David Greenberger« less
Morrissey's first new album since the nineties is a triumph. Powered by a formidable quartet, the twin guitars spit fire that matches every wounded issue Morrissey tears into. Never one to mince words, he comes out swinging, taking America to task and then turning his attention on his homeland with the blistering "Irish Blood, English Heart." You Are the Quarry is so effective because it's less an overt rallying cry than a heartfelt plea for the world to make sense to him again. Elsewhere, relationships are given such a uniquely vibrant vantage point as to render any other angle blind. His wordplay mixes the coy invention of Cole Porter with a feisty contemporary showman's sense of stagecraft, wit, and drama. "Close your eyes, and think of someone you physically admire, and let me kiss you." It doesn't get much better to that. And wedded to charging hooks, these songs will move into your head and never leave. --David Greenberger
"On October the ninth this year, I got to see Morrissey play at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It was my first night in NYC, and my first Morrissey gig. It was a hell of a show.
Declaring "Tonight this is my living room", M and his crack band launched into the best track from You Are the Quarry', "The First of the Gang". It's a tale about hector, a Latino gang member in LA, a Robin Hood with a twist ('he stole from the rich and the poor and not very rich and the very poor. And he stole out hearts away'). It's also a hard rocker, with classic Morrissey hooks.
What got me and the audience going, though, was Moz's performance of "Bigmouth Strikes Again", a classic Smith song, off their "The Queen is Dead" album, another great rocker with twisted lyrics and a cool melody. Bigmouth Stroke Again; Morrissey was definitely back.
In concert, the former frontman of one of the eighties' best bands showcased his new album, along with songs from his back catalogue ('The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I get) and Smiths classics (the aforementioned 'Big Mouth Strikes Again', and the brilliant, experimental and still revolutionary 'How Soon is Now?').
And the new album has a lot going for it. Not only the great 'First of the Gang', but a whole bunch of sing-alongs, with twisted lyrics and Morrissey's famous laments. In the groovy, slightly jazzy "I'm Not Sorry", Morrissey sings about the woman of his dreams ("there never was one"), and about dying with grace (slipping beneath the water line... I'm... slipping beneath the water line). In "I Like You", Morrissey sings a weird love song to a girl (or a boy?) who is "not right in the head".
But I'm forever in love with the single, "Irish Blood, English Heart'. In it, Morrissey seems to refer to his encounter with hostile British Journalists, but beyond that, he makes the unbelievable - a song that manages to be both a melodic triumph, and a political anthem. It's one of the best protest songs of all time, and only the weird politics of the time can make the public ignore the strength of the lyrics:
I've been dreaming of a time when The English are sick to death of Labour, and Tories And spit upon the name Oliver Cromwell And denounce this royal line that still salute him And will salute him forever
It may not take as much courage to sing lyrics like these as when the pistols published 'God Save the Queen' in the Britain of 25 years ago, but it takes genius to make them work as a song, not just as an anarchistic political screed. But from Morrissey, we've learned to expect no less."
Morrissey lays down the law
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 05/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Seven years on the sidelines must have given Morrissey plenty of time to think about where his music has been, gone and will go, because when he finely sat down and recorded a new album, he sounded like Morrissey again. Like most of the reviewers here, I feel like this is his strongest work since those first couple of solo albums, filled with dour smiles and crusty observations. To wit, the state of pop music from singers "so scared to show intelligence, it might smear their lovely career." ("The World is Full Of Crashing Bores," which is a Moz title if ever there was.)While songs like "Bores," "First Of The Gang to Die" and "Come Back to Camden" sure taste like Smiths/Morrissey of old, there are a couple of slam dunks that show an older and wizened Mo, in particular "America is Not The World" and "Irish Blood, English Heart." A stinging indictment of Bush politics and Prime Minister Tony Blair's willful lap dogging, it begs for understanding from a heart which "you say you don't need." Even with that kind of roiling discontent, "America" wouldn't be a Moz song without the get-out-clause, and here Morrissey ends the rant with the frustration of a patriot who tells his country and countrymen, "haven't you me with you now? I love you." It's a moment worthy of "The Queen Is Dead."Even better is the album's first single, "Irish Blood English Heart," which compound those feelings. In lyrics that echo U2, Morrissey struggles with the love of homeland and the contorting dismay of, as he puts it, dreaming of being an Englishman who longs"...not to be baneful,
to be standing by the flag
not feeling shameful, racist or partial."It's enough to make you wish you were in college again, ready to get you're mope on. The musicians here aid in delivering on those old emotions. Despite what some may be saying, Blink 182 producer Jerry Finn does little to mess with Moz' general sound other than add a few electronic effects and making keyboardist Roger Manning a little more prominent. But it sure is nice to hear that a grown-up Morrissey can now project some grand old adult angst in the same tones delivered during his twenties."
There's a wild man in my head...
Joseph Baker | Mercerville, New Jersey | 06/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered The Smiths in the 80's and then when I heard "Viva Hate", I fell in love with that album just about as much as The Smith albums. Morrissey levels you out when you are depressed, and he does a service to his fans by his lyrics which I have always identified with.
I loved "Your Arsenal", but by the time I heard "Malajusted", I had realized that like all my other heroes...his time was over.
I am so happy about this album...Morrissey really is back. This album has touched me more than any Morrissey album since "Your Arsenal" and I was about to write him off and just enjoy his past work.
I'm not going to go into detail about all the songs except "I'm not Sorry." This song hit me the first time and continues to, and in a way Morrissey used to in his/my younger days.
His band has now played with him for 13 years, and it shows in that they are a better, tighter band now then back in 1991.
Morrissey's voice does indeed sound as good as ever if not the best it's been. His lyrics are some of his best ever as well, and I am happy that he really takes a shot this time around, meaning, you can tell that he gave everything he has in terms of really SAYING something...You can tell that all around everyone that worked on this album really worked as hard as possible to make the best album they could make.
I can honestly say there are no bad songs on the album.
Is this as great as The Smiths or "Viva Hate"? Not quite, but it's close and believe me, I do not say that lightly. I love Morrissey but I am not the kind of fanatic who would say everything he does is great no matter what. I would have said how dissapointing this album was if that was the case and I'm so happy that I'm not. I'm glad that sometimes heroes can surprise you with great work, when you are pretty sure that that time is over."
Could it be i like you?
T. Cook | louisville, ky United States | 06/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"for some unspeakable reason, i didn't buy this album when it was released. actually i didn't buy it until after buying and devouring "the ringleader of the tormentors." i enjoyed that one so much that i backed up to this one. i played it until i thought i should give it a rest. the rest period lasted about two weeks. i had to get it back out. i'll just buy another one if it begins to wear out. to be honest, i don't really understand my obsession with it. i utterly despise greatest hits collections...and, though this isn't one, it could be. there is not one weak song; not one weak moment. his voice is in excellent form. his wit is still peerless. the writing is flawless. i find myself dancing through the house when it's on; i find myself singing along in the car. it's not the smiths, but it doesn't try to be. these are the insights of our morrissey with some years under his belt. those years haven't tarnished his ability to speak his truths, which apparently encompass some truths of my own. thanks to this work, i have been driven to re-experience all of morrissey's work...from "viva hate" all the way to the present. he has created an awesome body of work. anyone who enjoys this album should pick up "who put the m in manchester." having never had the privilege of seeing morrissey live, it's fun to watch him bring many of the songs on this album to life on the stage. our morrissey is a real character."
D3 | Philadelphia, PA United States | 06/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a Morrissey fan for 11+ years now. While growing up, a lot of the people I was forced to be around in school were into the next "flash in the pan" rap artist. Me, I was looking for music and artists who actually had something important to say, and whose lyrics I could relate to. Thankfully, a close friend turned me onto The Smiths and Morrissey and I was hooked; I have been a fan ever since. This album is FANTASTIC and hasn't left my player since I bought it. I rank it up there as one of my favorite Morrissey albums, if not the favorite. If you are a Moz fan, you probably already have this album. If you aren't but you are looking for something meaningful in this world of recycled pop garbage, pick this up, you won't be sorry."