Review Summary: Quite possibly the best Smiths album,full of melancholy,great melodies and emotional depth.
This is the Smiths' 3rd studio effort and by 1986 the guys have really grown as songwriters.Not that the first two albums had bad songwriting in any way but here,they are mature and give their songs solid melodies throughout the album.
The title track and album opener is simply great with a dark vibe and Morrissey announcing that ''the queen is dead boys''.Marr creates an appropriate to the lyrics atmosphere with his guitar rythms and sounds.The instrumentation is pretty rich,too,with strings and a piano adding to the dark mood.The lead track ends with the strings dying out and the second track ''Frankly,Mr.Shankly'' begins with a cool drum beat and funny lyrics that are directed to the Smiths' manager.After the first verse Marr bursts with some great guitar lines.Cute song,although a minor one compared to the rest of the album.Next comes ''I Know It's Over'' which is a rather sad song with a great melody sung by Morissey and once again,great guitar lines from Marr and nice touches of other instruments adding to the charm of the tune.''Never Had No One Ever'' is a tad more bitter than ''I Know It's Over'' as far as balladeering goes and is only ruined by a somewhat overlong outro.However,the interplay between the guitar and the bass and the drums on ''Cemetery Gates'' is astonishing.Morrissey is relaxed here,matching the attitude of the song perfectly.
''Bigmouth Strikes Again'' is an excellent song,with all these great guitar riffs,fierce backing instrumentation and one of the Smiths' greatest vocal melodies ever.A truly fantastic song,really,which is followed by another great song,''The Boy With The Thorn In His Side'' and Morrissey again singing some allegorical lyrics backed by great music.''Vicar In A Tutu'' has some hilarious lyrics and a 50's feel,with all these guitar lines and thumping drums and bass.Next comes ''There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'' which might be the best song on the album with-again-one of the best melodies of the Smiths' and guitar orchestration that gives the song a melancholic feel that is really suited to the mournful melody.The album closes with ''Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others'' which has a fade in and fade out and AGAIN fade in,but the truly great aspect of the song is the,once again,wonderful melody that drives the song,along with Marr's ethereal guitar lines.The song slowly fades out and the album comes to an fitting end.
So,even if the album has some minor cons (overlong coda on Never Had No One Ever and a minor song) the album flows perfectly and has some of the best songwriting of Morrissey/Marr,and a great vibe throughout it's run.An essential album of the generally horrible 80's decade,and a must have for any fan of music.