Review Summary: Bigmouth strikes again...and again
The news of an upcoming Morrissey album tends to be greeted with the same reaction and foreboding as a tsunami warning, or the early release of a particularly notorious prisoner. That is, the press go into some weird overdrive, while the populace run about the streets, wailing and gnashing their teeth.
As we are all more than well aware, Morrissey is not exactly the shy and retiring type. Every interview usually runs with the headline “MORRISSEY SAYS ALL MEAT EATERS SHOULD BE BUMMED TO DEATH” or something equally asinine yet money spinning for the publication in question.
So while he lets his untamed opinions run free, can his music do the talking for him this time?
World Peace Is None Of Your Business
doesn’t particularly mess with the Morrissey Formula; if he’s got something to say then good Lord he’s going to say it. The classic Miserable Mozza we all know and love (???) is here in the song titles alone: “I’m Not A Man”, “Earth Is The Loneliest Planet” and “Kick The Bride Down The Aisle”…and that’s just for starters.
But what propels this album along is the contradictory versatility. Take, for example, the guitar crunch of “Neal Cassady Drops Dead” nestled alongside its pseudo-intellectual lyrics (“Neal Cassady drops dead/Allan Ginsberg’s lips tighten and thin”). There’s also the vaguely tumultuous seven-minute would-be epic “I’m Not A Man.” Finally, there’s the biting social commentary of “Staircase At The University”; detailing the suicide of an academic ‘failure’ (“If you don’ get 3 A’s, you’re no child of mine and as far as I’m concerned, you’re dead”) with an uplifting tune behind it.
Of course, that’s Morrissey to a tee; grey skies with a glimmer of faded sunshine. Ultimately it’s the well-worn formula that ends up dragging the album down. Tracks like “Kiss Me A Lot” and “Smiler With A Knife” are notable for their anonymity and tired old retreads. “Mountjoy” passes with little to no fanfare. Given the great work apparent on the album’s first half, it’s a pity to see the album slide to a close so disappointingly.