Morrissey - Years Of Refusal
For many dyed-in-the-wool The Smiths connoisseurs, the title of this latest solo album from the Master of Misery himself, Mr Stephen Patrick Morrissey, sums up their disappointment. That is due to the fact that as the days, months and then the years pass-by, it is looking less and less likely that they will get their prized The Smiths reunion. Some solace can certainly be gleaned from the fact that the life-baiting lyrics make frequent guest appearances on the pondering, dirge exposing full length Years of Refusal. ‘Mama Lays Softly on the Riverbed', testifies starkly to this;
"Mama, who drove you to it? Spare priggish money-men who scared the life out of you. Bailiffs with bad-breath, I will slit their throats for you....Life is nothing much to lose."
This offering, like the bulk of Morrissey's solo albums since ‘Suedehead', mingles together catchy hooks with the grandiose pessimism of the lyrics and the commandingly clear delivery of them. It is when Morrissey abandons this approach, like in his attempt at vibrant, snappy chorus relying pop, ‘That's How People Grow Up' that the material sinks in impact and sincerity.
Remaining always one step ahead of his doubters, Stephen uses the robust percussion driven and slight Psychobilly undercurrent of ‘All You Need Is Me', to pre-empt the inevitable backlash to this release and his continuing public prominence;
"There's so much destruction all over the world, all you can do is complain about me..... You're gonna miss me when I'm gone."
There has been some apparent fraternizing with the members of Tiger Army, whilst this album was being written. This is given the racing bass prominence found in offerings such as ‘When I Last Spoke To Carol'. It's also one of his most varied offerings, mainly for its Mediterranean instrumental jig and the smoother, more soulful vocals that are projected in a mildly higher key.
Once again, Salford's favourite son shamelessly parades his downtrodden views in his own inimitable style. Having a steady backing band certainly helps this album keep the interest up, Morrissey shows no signs of settling into a life of detached retirement.
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