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Morrissey
YOU ARE THE QUARRY
(Attack/Sanctuary)
Stars graphics

Morrissey isnít likely to make any converts on this side of the pond with the opening track on You Are the Quarry, his first solo album in seven years. But then, appeasement has never been his plan. "America Is Not the World" fires a number of salvos across the big bow of Englandís closest ally ó "Your headís too big . . . Your bellyís too big" ó and concludes, somewhat awkwardly, "Youíve got nothing to say to me." The "I love you" he tosses in at the end of the song is either irony or optimism, not an apology. But the real problem with the song is the sluggish trip-hoppy beat and wimpy guitar strums that donít bark, much less bite. Morrissey is far more successful when turns his guns back on Great Britain and attacks with a brisk backbeat and roaring guitars on the anthem "Irish Blood, English Heart," which hits closer to home with lyrics like "Iíve been dreaming of a time when to be English is not to be baneful/To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial" while bitterly name-checking Oliver Cromwell.

Jerry Finn, the discís pop-punk platinum producer (Green Day, Blink-182), is put to good use here. In the age of MP3s, it might seem foolish to recommend a CD on the strength of one song, but the punk ire that surfaces in "Irish Blood, English Heart," the discís first US single, is that compelling. There are a couple of other hard-hitting tracks, notably the humorous "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?", with its "Iíve had my face dragged in 15 miles of shit and I do not like it" sentiments. This is classic Morrissey, preaching to the converted with a sense of self-loathing dwarfed only by his distaste for the rest of the world.

BY MATT ASHARE


Issue Date: May 21 - 27, 2004
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