The Smiths & Morrissey

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Smiths (1984), 7/10
Meat Is Murder (1985), 5/10
The Queen Is Dead (1986), 7/10
Strangeways Here We Come (1987), 6.5/10
Viva Hate, 6/10
Bona Drag, 6/10 (comp)
Kill Uncle , 4/10
Your Arsenal , 6.5/10
Vauxhall And I , 5.5/10
Southpaw Grammar, 4/10
Maladjusted , 5.5/10
You Are The Quarry (2004) , 5/10
Ringleader Of The Tormentors (2006), 5/10
Years of Refusal (2009), 5/10
World Peace Is None of Your Business (2014), 4/10
Low in High School (2017), 4/10
California Son (2019), 3.5/10
I Am Not a Dog on a Chain (2020), 5/10

The Smiths were one of the most successful guitar-pop bands of the late 1980s. They scored with a style that was in many ways the opposite of the fashionable music of their time: intimate and tender instead of emphatic and/or macho. Their gentle melodies were grafted onto Stephen Morrissey's ascetic and vulnerable muezzin-like crooning and Johnny "Marr" Maher's transcendental guitar arpeggios. The introverted and hyper-sensitive lyrics captured the imagination of a generation that was locked into dark rooms, not roaming the streets, a generation that identified with Morrissey's desolate world and lonely life. The elegiac trance and gloom of Hand in Glove (1983), This Charming Man (1983), What Difference Does It Make (1984), William It Was Really Nothing (1984), How Soon Is Now (1984), and of the entire The Smiths (1984) was demanding in emotional, not musical, terms. Despite being a content-oriented act, the Smiths ended their career with the formal perfection of The Queen Is Dead (1986) and singles such as Girlfriend In A Coma (1987). The Smiths defined the term "post-punk" better than anyone else: they had absolutely nothing in common with the punk civilization. In fact, they were for punk-rock what the Beatles had been for rock'n'roll: the antidote.
(Translated by M.Loran. from my original Italian text)

Inventors of 'intimate' post-punk rock, through which pop music regained its power over the British recording industry, the Smiths are the cause, for better or worse, of the hollowing-out of punk and the resurrection of pop. They are also, for better or worse, not the cause but the result of the decadence of punk rock and the rebirth of pop. From them the current took off that would lead to the most aberrant phenomena of '90s Britpop. At the same time, they appealed to the frustrations of a new generation of teenagers, whose rituals of self-punishment were diametrically opposed to those of punk.

The sound of the Smiths was the essence of melodic simplicity. On the one hand, the guitar arpeggios of Johnny Marr (n‚ Maher), which took and popularized the transcendental angst of Television and Joy Division; on the other, the ascetic and wounded vocals, mediated by mantras and "dark" crooning, of Stephen Morrissey. Of added fascination, at the same time tragic and polemical, were the lyrics of Morrissey, an introverted and hypersensitive celibate.

The singles gave the group an immediate sound and personality. Morrissey sings the "noir" story of Hand in Glove (1983) like a Rabbin in a trance over jangly, rapid folk-rock. The alter-ego of this elegiac gloom is the spirited This Charming Man (1983), a rave-up in the tempo of Tamla and of the Pretenders and with atonal counterpoints from the guitars a la The Fall. What Difference Does It Make is almost a very loud boogie filled with ringing on the guitar a la Chuck Berry, while the singer preaches in the cold tones of Stan Ridgeway. William, It Was Really Nothing (1984) contains frenetic country-western finger picking and a Caribbean rhythm.

They were tunes that managed very well to absorb and break down the roots of rock and roll, despite being compositionally weak. People who did not recognize themselves in the hysteria of punk did so in the serviceable melodies of the Smiths. Their intimate melodic pop met the needs of a generation that had tired of public protests and could no longer contain its own existential desperation. The lightly degenerate lyrics added that small bit of novelty that lends itself to worship.

If anything, the Smiths' real masterpiece was How Soon Is Now (1984), a muezzin's litany propelled by voodoo tribalism in the style of Bo Diddley, and accompanied with the psychedelic quivering of one guitar and the atmospheric trill of another (as in the solitude ballads of Chris Isaak).

The Smiths (Rough Trade, 1984) documents the trials of Morrissey in a desolate world which is, in fact, a representation of the singer's day-to-day microcosm.

Meat Is Murder (Rough Trade, 1985) has neither fantasy nor spark, but it has the merit of emphasizing the tragic tones of their songs. The disc practically hinges on two pieces: the galloping country-gospel of Shakespeare's Sister and the elegant and slightly dreamlike ballad That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore.

The paranoia of Morrissey was sublimated more than anywhere on The Queen Is Dead (Rough Trade, 1986), an album that is a formal milestone. The apocalyptic atmosphere of the title track recalls the goth-punk of some years before and sets the stage for a sequence of high-class ballads. There Is A Light that Never Goes Out could be an orchestral song from the '50s. Boy With A Thorn In His Side is a melody worthy of an operatic aria, and Morrissey sings it in an understated melisma. The singer, in splendid form, repeats himself ever more softly in Big Mouth Strikes Again, a vortex spinning in an almost Sufi manner, counterpointed by an exotic voice and Marr's rapid finger picking. Marr, for his part, lends spirit to the record guiding the rattling country-western Vicar In A Tutu and the cadenced nursery-rhyme Frankly Mr. Shankly. The record closes with the orchestral There Is A Light and the fatalist boogie of Some Girls Are Bigger than Others (which could be by Dire Straits), like the fade-out to a film. Many ballads are simply tedious, but the whole constitutes the precious gospel of a psychological martyr in which many adolescents recognize themselves.

The cadenced Ask (1986) and the rustic Panic (1986) kept the myth alive, but in reality they represent a clear low point (if not a tedious repetition of the elements in previous singles, from the country-western to the arias). Perhaps aware that they had exhausted a creative vein, the Smiths gave in Shoplifters of the World (1986) one of the most durable tunes of their career, at the limit of southern boogie and hard-rock. Strangeways, Here We Come (Rough Trade, 1987) is a shrewd collection that offers only imitations of their other successes, but with the highest degree of refinement. If Sheila Take A Bow and A Rush And A Push are innocuous pieces to whistle to the supermarket, a small universe of sounds inhabits the simple folk melancholy of Girlfriend In A Coma (including orchestral movements) and Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me begins with a sinister avant-garde mini-concert through the ringing of a pianoforte and anguished vocals before launching into a macabre waltz worthy of the Doors. In the middle of so many good intentions, I Started Something I Couldn't Finish comes like a slap in the face: a disco beat, distorted hard-rock riffs, rhythm and blues horns and even a "dark" cry from Morrissey. Death Of A Disco Dancer closes, in the most gloomy and metaphysical manner, the band's career. The arrangements had caught up with formal perfection without ever stretching into sensationalism. The single Shiela Take A Bow is another of their detached arias.

With the Smiths gone, Johnny Marr formed Electronic with Bernard Sumner of New Order. Steven Morrissey did not wait long before releasing his first solo album, Viva Hate (EMI, 1988).
The album caused a stir and placed Morrissey among the stars of pop music, but more for personality than music. The album, in fact, preserves the worst defects of the Smiths (the laconic crooning, the operatic melodies, the pop arrangements) and few of its merits. The album collapses on track after track, going through the dreadfully pathetic Alsatian Cousin, Everyday Is Like Sunday, Suedehead. They are refrains without punch, which not even the long, autobiographical reflection of Late Night Maudlin Street can redeem. The scarcity of these songs shows above all how important the role of Johnny Marr had been.

In the three succeeding years, Morrissey thought it better to concentrate on singles, which, after all, had been the Smiths' strong point (as it is for all pop singers): Interesting Drug (with Marr on guitar and Kirsty MacCall on co-vocals), Ouija Board, Piccadilly Palare (a ska tune a la Madness), November Spawned A Monster (the disco song), Yes, I Am Blind (an allegorical gospel a la Nick Cave), Hairdresser On Fire (with one of the most ponderous orchestral arrangements). These works were soon collected on Bona Drag (Sire, 1990), by far his best solo album. It also contains a notably single, The Last of the Famous International Playboys.

Kill Uncle (Sire, 1991) insists, instead, on putting forward pop music and nauseating attitudes (Our Frank, Asian Rut). Driving Your Girlfriend Home and Mute Witness are interesting stories (the second about rape), but musically without punch. His internal laments take advantage of the tone underlain with tremolo, which, nevertheless, in the long run results in truly frustrating monotony.

Your Arsenal (Sire, 1992) signals a return to the glam-rock of David Bowie (You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side). Morrissey has become practically a specialist in composing refrains that are at the same time catchy and unlistenable (Tomorrow, Seasick). The record is music that no longer sounds like music, and is to be listened to only for lyrics, sometimes sharp (We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful and above all You're The One For Me Fatty) sometimes wooden (National Front Disco and We'll Let You Know). The themes are always self-pitying (and a bit racist, coming from a white man). The record had, however, stratospheric success and re-launched the career of one of the most tiresome singers in the history of rock.

Every Morrissey album owed a great deal to the co-author: Vini Reilly (Durutti Column) on Viva Hate. Mark Nevin on Kill Uncle, Alain Whyte on Your Arsenal. It was them who put the lyrics of Morrissey to music. The practice is even more evident on Vauxhall and I (Sire, 1994), half of which was composed with Whyte and half with Boz Boorer. Morrissey concentrates on the stories, which have actually become little theatrical exercises, and the partner creates an accompaniment to his "recitation". Stylistic incoherence is a congenital fact. The More You Ignore Me and Lifeguard Sleeping Girl Drowning are almost soap-operas. The narrative peak is found, maybe, in Now My Heart Is Full (only he could write an ode to his own incapability of self-expression) and Tell All of My Friends. The album closes with Speedway, a strangely "noisy" piece which is practically heavy-metal for him. The problem is that, the more Morrissey sings, the more the public realizes that he is always singing the same song, and maybe some songs do not need to be sung even once.

The singles Hold On to Your Friends and Boxers follow in the same direction. Morrissey obtains more convincing results, perhaps, with the single Interlude (Parlophone, 1994), recorded with Siouxsie.

The producer Steve Lillywhite joins Whyte and Boorer on Southpaw Grammar (Sire, 1996), an album that stays faithful to the formula of its predecessor. Morrissey exposes himself to a ridiculous degree in the pompous eleven minutes of Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils, and the title track, on which he freely pays respects to his idols Henry Mancini and Phil Spector. A slightly more forceful accompaniment produces Do Your Best and Dagenham Dave, which, if nothing else, are alive rather than moribund like the rest of his work, and there is even the guitar-rock of Boy Racer and Best Friend On the Payroll. Perhaps even he has realized that there is a limit to how many tears a man can cry before he starts hearing that he deserves it.

Morrissey has constructed a pathetic mask, like a Young Werther of pop, which has indeed served for stardom, but which may also have been his artistic undoing.

Inventori del rock intimista del dopo-punk, con cui la musica leggera restaurava il suo potere sull'industria discografica britannica, gli Smiths sono responsabili, nel bene e nel male, dell'affossamento del punk-rock e della resurrezione del pop. Sono anche, nel bene e nel male, non la causa ma l'effetto della decadenza del punk-rock e della rinascita del pop. Da loro prese l'abbrivo la corrente che avrebbe portato ai fenomeno piu` aberranti del "Brit-pop" degli anni '90. Al tempo stesso soddisfarono le frustrazioni di una nuova generazione di adolescenti che aveva bisogno di rituali di auto-flagellazione diametralmente opposti a quelli del punk-rock.

Il sound degli Smiths era la quintessenza della semplicita` melodica. Da un lato gli arpeggi chitarristici di Johnny Marr (Maher), che riassumevano e popolarizzavano lo spleen trascendentale dei Television e dei Joy Division , e dall'altro il canto ascetico e accorato, mediato dai mantra e dal crooning "nero", di Stephen Morrissey. Ad aggiungere un fascino al tempo stesso tragico e polemico all'operazione erano le liriche di Morrissey, omosessuale introverso e iper-sensibile.

I singoli ne imposero subito sound e personalita`. Morrissey salmodia come un rabbino in trance su un folk-rock tintinnante e incalzante la storia "noir" di Hand In Glove (1983). L'alter ego di quella tetra elegia e` la briosa This Charming Man (1983), un rave-up con il tempo in levare della Tamla e dei Pretenders e contrappunto atonale della chitarra alla Fall . What Difference Does It Make (1984) e` persino un boogie stentoreo che la chitarra popola di scampanellii alla Chuck Berry mentre il cantante predica nel tono freddo di Stan Ridgway. William It Was Really Nothing (1984) sfodera invece il frenetico finger-picking del country and western e un ritmo caraibico.

Erano brani abilissimi a fagocitare e metabolizzare le radici del rock and roll, ma costituzionalmente deboli. Il popolo che non si riconosceva nell'isteria dei punk si riconobbe comunque nelle melodie perbene degli Smiths. Il loro pop intimista e melodico venne incontro ai bisogni di una generazione che aveva esaurito le proteste di strada e non riusciva piu` a contenere la propria disperazione esistenziale. I testi lievemente degenerati aggiunsero quel pizzico di notizia che fa bene al culto.

Il vero capolavoro degli Smiths fu semmai How Soon Is Now (1984), una litania da muezzin propulsa da un tribalismo voodoo alla Bo Diddley, e accompagnata dal tremolo psichedelico di una chitarra e dal trillo atmosferico di un'altra chitarra (come nelle ballate della solitudine di Chris Isaak).

L'album Smiths (Rough Trade, 1984) ambienta il calvario di Morrissey in un mondo desolato che e` in realta` una rappresentazione del microcosmo quotidiano del cantante.

Meat Is Murder (Rough Trade, 1985) non ha ne' fantasia ne' nerbo, ma ha il merito di accentuare i toni tragici delle loro canzoni. Spicca la ballata elegante e un po' onirica di That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore. Intanto esce su singolo la cavalcata country-gospel di Shakespeare's Sister (1985).

La paranoia di Morrissey si sublimo` semmai su The Queen Is Dead (Rough Trade, 1986), un album che e` un traguardo formale. L'atmosfera apocalittica della title-track si riallaccia al dark-punk di qualche anno prima e prepara il terreno per una sequenza di ballate d'alta classe. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out potrebbe essere una canzone orchestrale degli anni '50. Boy With A Thorn In His Side e` una melodia degna di un'aria d'opera, e Morrissey la canta in un melisma soffuso. Il cantante, in splendida forma, si ripete sempre piu` vellutato in Big Mouth Strikes Again, un vortice che s'impennia in maniera quasi sufi, contrappuntato da una cantante esotica e incalzato da un altro veloce finger-picking di Marr. Marr, dal canto sua, da` brio al disco mettendo in pista il country & western sferragliante di Vicar In A Tutu e la filastrocca cadenzata di Frankly Mr Shankly. Il disco si chiude con l'orchestrale There Is A Light e il boogie fatalista di Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (che potrebbe essere dei Dire Straits), come in una dissolvenza cinematografica. Molte ballad sono semplicemente tediose, ma l'insieme costituisce il prezioso vangelo di un martirio psicologico in cui molti adolescenti si riconoscono.

La cadenzata Ask (1986) e la rustica Panic (1986) tengono vivo il mito, ma denotano in realta` una netta caduta di tono (se non altro, una tediosa ripetizione degli elementi dei singoli precedenti, dal country & western all'aria d'opera). Forse consci di aver esaurito un filone, gli Smiths diedero con Shoplifters Of The World (1986) uno dei brani piu` duri della loro carriera, al limite del boogie sudista e dell'hard-rock. Strangeways Here We Come (Rough Trade, 1987) e` cosi` una raccolta smaliziata che propone soltanto imitazioni dei loro successi, ma con il massimo della raffinatezza. Se A Rush And A Push e` l'ennesimo motivetto innocuo da fischiettare al supermercato, un piccolo universo di suoni popola la semplice malinconia folk di Girlfriend In A Coma (comprese le impennate orchestrali) e Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me comincia persino con un sinitro mini-concerto d'avanguardia per rintocchi di pianoforte e voci angosciate prima di lanciarsi in un valzer macabro degno dei Doors. In mezzo a tanti buoni sentimenti I Started Something I Couldn't Finish arriva come uno schiaffo: battito da disco-music, riff distorto di hard-rock, fanfara rhythm and blues di fiati e persino un ruggito "nero" di Morrissey. Death Of A Disco Dancer chiuse nella maniera piu` tetra e metafisica la loro carriera. Gli arrangiamenti avevano raggiunto la perfezione formale senza mai eccedere in sensazionalismo. Questo disco cosi` diverso dal loro stereotipo potrebbe benissimo essere ricordato come il loro capolavoro. Il singolo Sheila Take A Bow (1987) e` invece un'altra delle loro arie disimpegnate.

The Singles (Reprise, 1995) was possibly the only truly essential Smiths album. The Sound Of The Smiths (2008) was an anthology of singles and rarities.

Sciolti gli Smiths, Johnny Marr diede vita agli Electronic con Bernard Sumner dei New Order. Steven Morrissey non attese molto prima di pubblicare il suo primo album solista, Viva Hate (EMI, 1988).
L'album fece scalpore e impose Morrisey fra le star della musica pop, ma piu` per il personaggio che per la musica. L'album, infatti, conserva i difetti peggiori degli Smiths (il crooning lamentoso, le melodie operatiche, gli arrangiamenti da musica leggera) e pochi dei pregi. La raccolta sprofonda traccia dopo traccia, passando per le terribilmente patetiche Alsatian Cousin, Everyday Is Little Sunday, Suedehead. Sono ritornelli senza nerbo, che neppure la lunga, autobiografica riflessione di Late Night Maudlin Street riesce a redimere. La pochezza di queste canzoni dimosta soprattutto quanto importante fosse il ruolo di Johnny Marr.

Nei tre anni seguenti Morrissey penso` bene di concentrarsi sui singoli, che in fondo erano sempre stati il forte degli Smiths (come di tutti i cantanti di musica leggera): Interesting Drug (con Marr alla chitarra e Kirsty MacCall al controcanto), Ouija Board, Piccadilly Palare (uno ska alla Madness), November Spawned A Monster (il brano da discoteca), Yes, I Am Blind (un gospel allegorico alla Nick Cave), Hairdresser On Fire (con uno degli arrangiamenti orchestrali piu` pesanti). Quei brani vennero in seguito raccolti su Bona Drag (Sire, 1990), di gran lunga il suo miglior album solista.

Kill Uncle (Sire, 1991) insiste invece nel proporre musica leggera e atteggiamenti stucchevoli (Our Frank, Asian Rut). Driving Your Girlfriend Home e Mute Witness sono storie interessanti (la seconda su uno stupro), ma musicalmente senza nerbo. I suoi salmi interiori fanno leva su quel tenore minato dal tremolo, che pero` alla lunga risulta di una monotonia davvero angosciante.

Your Arsenal (Sire, 1992) segna persino una regressione al glam-rock di David Bowie. (You're Gonna Need Someone On Your Side). Morrissey e` diventato praticamente uno specialista nel comporre ritornelli che sono al tempo stesso orecchiabili e insopportabili (Tomorrow, Seasick). Il disco e` musica che non suona piu` come musica, e si fa ascoltare pertanto soltanto per liriche, ora argute (We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful e soprattutto You're The One For Me Fatty) e ora programmatiche (National Front Disco e We'll Let You Know). I temi sono sempre autocommiserativi (e un po' razzisti, da buon ariano, proprio lui che e` omosessuale). Il disco ebbe comunque un successo stratosferico e rilancio` la carriera di uno dei cantanti piu` noiosi della storia del rock.

In realta` ogni album deve molto al coautore: Vini Reilly (Durutti Column ) per Viva Hate, Mark Nevin per Kill Uncle, Alain Whyte per Your Arsenal. Sono loro a mettere in musica i testi di Morrissey. La prassi e` ancor piu` evidente su Vauxhall And I (Sire, 1994), che e` composto meta` con Whyte e meta` con Boz Boorer. Morrissey si concentra sulle storie, che in effetti sono diventate piccoli virtuosismi teatrali, e il partner imbastisce un accompagnamento attorno alla sua "recitazione". L'incoerenza stilistica e` un fatto congenito. The More You Ignore Me e Lifeguard Sleeping Girl Drowning sono quasi telenovele. L'apice narrativo lo tocca forse in Now My Heart Is Full (soltanto lui poteva scrivere un'ode alla propria incapacita` di esprimersi) e Tell All Of My Friends. L'album si chiude con Speedway, un pezzo insolitamente "rumoroso", che e` praticamente heavy-metal per lui. Il problema e` che piu` Morrissey canta piu` il pubblico si rende conto che canta sempre la stessa canzone, e forse alcune non bisognerebbe cantarle neppure una volta.

I singoli Hold On To Your Friends e Boxers si attengono a quelle direttive. Forse Morrissey ottiene risultati piu` convincenti con il singolo Interlude (Parlophone, 1994), registrato con Siouxsie.

Il produttore Steve Lillywhite si affianca a Whyte e Boorer su Southpaw Grammar (Sire, 1996), album che rimane comunque ligio al canone del precedente. Morrissey si espone al ridicolo con i pomposi undici minuti di Teachers Are Afraid Of The Pupils e della title-track, nei quali puo` ossequiare liberamente i suoi idoli Henry Mancini e Phil Spector. Un accompagnamento appena piu` grintoso sortisce Do Your Best e Dagenham Dave, che se non altro sono vivi e non morti come il resto della sua opera, e addirittura il rock chitarristico di Boy Racer e Best Friend On The Payroll. Forse anche lui si e` reso conto che c'e` un limite a quante lacrime un uomo puo` piangere prima di sentirsi dire che se lo merita.

Morrissey si e` costruito una maschera patetica, da "giovane Werther" del pop, che gli e` valsa si` la "stardom" ma potrebbe diventare anche la sua condanna artistica.

Realizing that he is not much of a musician, Morrissey abandons Southpaw Grammar's musical ambitions and returns to the traditional song format with Maladjusted (Mercury, 1997). With the exception of Ambitious Outsiders, the album's best moments are also the least pretentious: a simple, driving tune like Alma Matters, Ammunition, Satan Rejected My Soul. Ever more literate and deadly serious, Morrissey couldn't move farther from the stereotype of the rock star. To his credit, his tuneful lullabies work wonders as calls to arms for those forgotten by society, for impotent victims of fate and misunderstood lonely teenagers.

One could not have expected that the most tedious singer-songwriter of his generation would find a way to become even more obnoxious. Instead, Morrisey did the impossible, and adopted a political stance (America Is Not The World). The lush orchestration of You Are The Quarry (Attack, 2004) may help ignore the ever more forgettable lyrics and the haughty tone, but the music remains passable at best (Irish Blood English Heart, First of the Gang To Die) and frequently unbearable.

Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Sanctuary, 2006), produced by Tony Visconti, sounds a bit less miserable and less whining than usual, notably in The Youngest Was the Most Loved.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Roberto Morelli)

Capendo che non aveva molto da dire come musicista, Morrissey abbandona l'ambizione musicale di Southpaw Grammar e ritorna al tradizionale formato canzone con Maladjusted (Mercury, 1997). Ad eccezione di Ambitious Outsiders, i momenti migliori dell'album sono anche i meno pretenziosi: melodie semplice ma trascinanti come Alma Matters, Ammunition, Satan Rejected My Soul. Sempre più letterato e mortalmente serioso, Morrissey non potrebbe andare più lontano dallo stereotipo di rock star. A suo credito, le sue ninnna-nanne melodiose suonano come una chiamata alle armi per tutti gli individui dimenticati dalla società, per le impotenti vittime del fato e per i teenagers soli e incompresi.

Nessuno si sarebbe aspettato che il più noioso cantautore della sua generazione avrebbe trovato il modo di diventarlo ancora più. Invece Morrissey ha fatto l’impossibile ed ha fatto sua una posizione politica (America Is Not The World). Le lussureggianti orchestrazioni di You Are The Quarry (Attack, 2004) possono almeno aiutare nel tentare di ignorare i peggiori testi che egli abbia mai scritto ed il suo tono altezzoso, la musica rimane comunque passabile (Irish Blood English Heart, First of the Gang To Die) anche se a tratti insopportabile.

Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Sanctuary, 2006), prodotto da Tony Visconti, suona un pò meno deprimente e piagnucolante del solito, notevole in The Youngest Was the Most Loved

Continuing the progression started by producer Visconti, the Jerry Finn-produced Years of Refusal (2009) presented a more lively and, overall, musical performer (and a bit less autobiographical formulaic). The drawback is that he persevered in his dialogue with society in the same guitar-pop of two decades earlier, unaware that the world of music has moved on. The upside is that his pathetic lyrics were finally redeemed by music that one can actually listen to. The neurosis of Something Is Squeezing My Skull, the anger of It's Not Your Birthday Anymore and especially the insecurity of I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris all made sense, at last. The Latin-tinged When Last I Saw Carol and One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell and the jazzy You Were Good in Your Time and All You Need Is Me added more entertainment. Visconti's glam-rock matched to existential angst worked wonders with Marc Bolan and David Bowie: Morrissey implicitly admitted who his forefathers were.

Swords (Polydor, 2009) collects rarities. Very Best of Morrissey (2011) is a decent anthology.

World Peace Is None of Your Business (2014) contains World Peace Is None Of Your Business and Staircase At The University.

He also published his first novel, "List of the Lost" (2015).

Low in High School (2017) contains Spent The Day In Bed. "Home, is it just a word? Or is it something you carry within you?" is the most profound he can get (Home Is a Question Mark).

California Son (2019) is a cover album.

I Am Not a Dog on a Chain (2020) marked a return to music (not just pretentious lyrics grafted on 1950s-sounding arias) with Jim Jim Falls and Bobby Don't You Think They Know.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Stefano Iardella)

Continuando la progressione iniziata dal produttore Visconti, Years of Refusal (2009), prodotto da Jerry Finn, ha presentato un interprete più vivace e, complessivamente, più musicale (con uno stereotipo meno autobiografico). Lo svantaggio è che ha perseverato nel dialogo con la società con lo stesso guitar-pop di due decenni prima, ignaro che il mondo della musica è andato avanti. Il lato positivo è che i suoi testi patetici sono stati finalmente riscattati dalla musica che si può davvero ascoltare. La nevrosi di Something Is Squeezing My Skull, la rabbia di It's Not Your Birthday Anymore e soprattutto l'insicurezza di I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris avevano finalmente un senso. Le latineggianti When Last I Saw Carol e One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell e le jazzate You Were Good in Your Time e All You Need Is Me hanno aggiunto ulteriore intrattenimento. Il glam-rock di Visconti abbinato all'angoscia esistenziale fece miracoli con Marc Bolan e David Bowie: Morrissey ammise implicitamente chi fossero i suoi antenati.

Swords (Polydor, 2009) raccoglie rarità. Very Best of Morrissey (2011) è un'antologia decente.

World Peace Is None of Your Business (2014) contiene World Peace Is None of Your Business e Staircase At The University.

Egli ha anche pubblicato il suo primo romanzo, "List of the Lost" (2015).

Low in High School (2017) contiene Spent The Day In Bed. "Casa, è solo una parola? O è qualcosa che porti dentro di te?" è quanto di più profondo possa domandarsi (Home Is a Question Mark).

California Son (2019) è un album di cover.

I Am Not a Dog on a Chain (2020) ha segnato un ritorno alla musica (non solo testi pretenziosi innestati su arie dalle sonorità anni '50) con Jim Jim Falls e Bobby Don't You Think They Know.

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