Thursday, February 12, 2009

Morrissey

Add Date: February 17

Artist: Morrissey

Album: Years of Refusal

Label: Lost Highway

Genre: A harder rockin' version of Morrissey

Comments: Morrissey's Years of Refusal was released on Lost Highway, the label of Ryan Adams, the late Johnny Cash, and other such folkie pioneers. But Morrissey?! While Johnny Marr shocked the world with joining Modest Mouse a few years back after decades of keeping a low profile, the Moz continued in the tradition of his lounge singer-style crooning over jangly guitars, with plenty of hits and misses along the way.

While he may not be treading the alt-country roads of other Lost Highwaymen, this is certainly a departure for Morrissey. Years of Refusal kicks off with "Something Is Squeezing My Skull," an aptly titled rocker that finds the Moz belting, in as punk-rock a way as he still can, "don't gimmie anymore" o'er and o'er again. Those who might find his voice typically annoying might warm up a bit on his delivery here. And the first single, "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," is vintage Morrissey: it's a refreshing Smiths-style tune, but it doesn't sound like he's resting on his laurels. Pitchfork gave Years of Refusal an 8.1, and while my initial impression was "Oh, another Morrissey album," this one truly earns its gold star.

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