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Last Active 09-29-21 4:15 pm
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03.31.21 tec’s GODFLESH, Ranked03.22.21 tec’s THE SMITHS, Ranked
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02.03.21 tec's DAVID BOWIE, Ranked 01.20.21 tec's SONIC YOUTH, Ranked
01.05.21 MUSIC: tec's Top 50 of 2020 11.23.20 2020 // 25 UNDER 25
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tec’s THE SMITHS, Ranked

Short discog this week because I’m crammed for time between work and the arrival of my new baby daughter. But a small catalog doesn’t necessarily equal an inferior one.
5The Smiths
Meat Is Murder

Overall Score | 3.72 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑

🥇 Well I Wonder
🥈 Barbarism Begins at Home
🥉 The Headmaster Ritual

My least favorite Smiths album, but that’s just a comparative assessment—in a total vacuum, this is a great album (missing the cut-off for a 4/5 score by only a few decimal points), and ever bit as important as the rest for shaping the band’s small but forceful oeuvre. If obliged to cite something specific for its placement here, I’d hesitantly point to its relative tameness—exceptionally consistent but maybe lacking the oomph of massive stand-out tracks for which it retains its reputation. The three listed above are fantastic in their own right, as are e.g. “Rusholme Ruffians” and “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” but I don’t think any of ‘em would crack the Top 10. Conversely, there’s hardly a weak spot to be found. An immensely solid album, front to back.
4The Smiths
The Smiths

Overall Score | 3.90 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

🥇 Reel Around the Fountain
🥈 Still Ill
🥉 What Difference Does It Make?

My biggest and only real issue here is “Miserable Lie” which, for my money, is the absolute worst thing The Smiths have ever done. That extended falsetto coda is not only unappealing but downright torturous; at this point in his career, Morrissey hadn’t the confidence nor bravado to sustain such a high-wire maneuver for any substantial length of time. The whole album is a bit unrefined and coarse around the edges compared to their later work, but it never distracts or becomes problematic except for the aforementioned song. If anything, it feels a little more down-to-earth and intimate, the early stages of greatness beginning to form directly in front of your ears.
3The Smiths
Strangeways, Here We Come

Overall Score | 4.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑

🥇 Girlfriend in a Coma
🥈 A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours
🥉 Paint a Vulgar Picture

The dark horse of The Smiths’ discography, often ranked last among their four or five (depending on your musical purity and semantic interpretation) albums—unfairly so. And no, I’m not biased because this houses my favorite Smiths track (yes, “Girlfriend in a Coma” is peak for me, and according to last.fm is my single most scrobbled song), I think the refinement here is sublime. Unctuous production value, exquisite vocal performances from Morrissey’s, and Marr is as delicate and intricate as he’s ever been, adding layer upon layer of sound in ways that add depth without unnecessary ostentation. Understated, but purposefully so. *Chef’s kiss.*
2The Smiths
Hatful of Hollow

Overall Score | 4.34 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗

🥇 Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
🥈 This Charming Man
🥉 Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now

Debated whether to include this or disqualify it because it’s technically a “compilation,” but I’m making an executive decision: Because of The Smiths’ strange discography makeup, there’s enough previously unreleased (viz. on a full-length EP) material (i.e. singles) to consider this a standalone release, and one that’s truly vital when discussing the band’s major impact and importance during their half-decade of active output. This is simply too fantastic to ignore, and omitting it among the other four albums excludes a slew of tracks that would rank among The Smiths’ greatest. #Make Compilations Great Again.
1The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead

Overall Score | 4.95 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕

🥇 Cemetry Gates
🥈 I Know It’s Over
🥉 The Boy With the Thorn in His Side

Safe, unexciting pick for first place, I realize, but I’d be only be lying to myself were I to claim otherwise; one of the finest albums ever crafted, in my opinion, ranking somewhere among my Top 20 all time. Wonderfully cohesive, contagiously jangly, occasionally upbeat and occasionally depressing, always melodic, casually poetic, beautifully blunt, simple but enchanting nonetheless. It’s The Smiths’ typical formula boiled down to its most elemental components and fine-tuned to near perfection. Morrissey may be a grade-A dickhead but my god, the man can make the most mundane shit sound devastating. “They were born and then they lived and then they died.” Indeed they did.
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