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Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
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Spotlights [Issue # 9 ]
Morrissey: Just One Name Will Do, Thank You

By Peter Vouras


Oh to be known by one name. Chances are you’ve never heard of Ms. Sarkisian, Ms. Mubarek-Ripol, or Mr. Hewson, but, Cher, Shakira, or Bono and aha! This brings us to Morrissey . . . Stephen Patrick Morrissey, to be exact. A musical force since the early 1980’s with his seminal band, The Smiths, Morrissey continues to break new ground both lyrically and musically. His latest release, You Are The Quarry, has some of the best songs I’ve heard in a long time. This is his seventh solo release and his first on Sanctuary and Attack.

Records, an old reggae label that Sanctuary purchased and that Morrissey will develop new talent on. It is his first (including The Smiths albums) to be recorded in the studio as a band. This change was made by Jerry Finn (Blink 182, Green Day, AFI), who says: “Instead of trying to create the music around Morrissey’s vocals, which is how it used to be done, we had everyone in the studio at the same time, which made the creative process much easier.”

It is his first real commercial album since his debut, Viva Hate, mainly due to the radio airplay of “Irish Blood, English Heart,” a kick-ass, scathing look at his native country with lyrics, “I’ve been dreaming of a time when, The English are sick to death of labour and Tories, and spit upon the name of Oliver Cromwell and denounce this royal line that still salute him.” America (he now resides in LA) doesn’t escape his wrath either in, “America Is Not The World,” which attacks cultural imperialism, racial intolerance, and over consumption. He sings, “America / your head’s too big / because America / your belly’s too big and I love you I just wish you’d stay where you is / in America / the land of the Free, they said and of opportunity in a Just / and a Truthful way but where the President is never black or female or gay / and until that day you’ve got nothing to say to me to help me believe / in America.” Even JC takes a beating in “I Have Forgiven Jesus” with Morrissey crooning, “ I have forgiven Jesus for all of the love / he placed in me when there’s no one I can turn to with this love Monday-humiliation / Tuesday-suffocation Wednesday-condescension Thursday-is . . . pathetic by Friday-Life has killed me by Friday-Life has killed me.”

Morrissey’s huge fan base bears testament to his endurance. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to their idol. There are chat rooms and bulletin boards where people have written on how Morrissey touched their lives and even a few on how he saved them from suicide. How ironic that “the king of mope” would have such a positive affect. Morrissey turned 45 this year, perhaps a feat in and of itself. Many artists have mellowed out by that age putting out schlock just for the bling bling. Not Morrissey. He has again allowed us to share his pain and pathos through his music. With You Are The Quarry, another piece of the Morrissey mystique has been revealed . . . but has it really? After all, there is a song on the album called “How Can Anyone Possibly Know How I Feel?”


You Are The Quarry
Attack/Sanctuary

Just One Name Will Do, Thank You Morrissey You Are The Quarry


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