Review Summary: Some Albums Are Better Than Others.
Reviewing The Queen is Dead is a daunting task - How much is there to say about an album that has been reviewed and spoken about annually since it’s release back in 1986?
The Answer is a lot.
So why exactly do critics and fans (hell even record companies with multiple reissues) keep revisiting TQID after all this time? The answer is; This is the greatest album of all time objectively. I do not say this lightly, in fact in all honesty The Smiths are not even my favourite band, and TQID is not my favourite album - But I cannot deny the impact of it’s 10 tracks on the musical landscape and indeed my life.
The Themes of finding Joy in being a little off are as relevant now as they were in 1986, which wouldn’t mean as much if the music was horribly dated - but here is the thing it isn’t. After all this time TQID still sounds very fresh. Morrissey Has never sounded as good before or after, never as confident, melodic or vulnerable. The final gut-wrenching minute and a half of “I Know Is Over” is the definition of vulnerability, a grown man crying in his mother’s lap “Oh Mother I can Feel The Soil Falling Over My head” - if you can’t relate to this and empathize - then frankly, Mr Shankly, you’ve had quite a good life.
However I am not going to dwell on the inherent sadness within many of this album's tracks because in all fairness, The Smiths were and are so much more. For Every “Never Had No One Ever” There is a “Cemetry Gates”. Make no mistake folks, TQID is more than a one-dimensional pity party, It’s a showcase. A complete magnification Of Morrissey’s forward thinking Melodies, and in all seriousness too honest lyrics married with Marr’s lush, multi-layered compositions and then backed by a powerhouse of Bass and Drums courtesy of oft overlooked Smith’s Rourke and Joyce. There is not a stumble, nor a miss on the whole album. Sure Some tracks are stronger than others, “The Boy With The Thorn In His Side” and rocker “BigMouth Strikes Again” are more likely to find their way on your playlist than “Vicar In A Tutu” is. But This album is best enjoyed as a whole, the lower than lows and giddy high’s of everyday life - This Album in it’s own little way is Everybody’s - and that my friends, is the true secret of timelessness.
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out…
An Album, A Journey that has truly lasted the trials and tribulations of modern life, TQID is truly that light that never goes out - and although I have waffled on perhaps too much, I have still told you NOTHING about this album. TQID is a personal experience, if you listen to this album on your own, you will likely take away a different experience than I did and so on.
I simply reviewed this album because I wanted my testimony for this LP on record, because this review, hell maybe even this site, one day will cease to exist, but will TQID ever stop influencing and inspiring? This amateur reviewer thinks not.
“We Can Go for a walk where its quiet and dry, and talk about precious things, like love and law and poverty, oh these are the things that kill me”