Morrissey - You Are The Quarry

Who'd have thought the Mozfather would have done it, but in a time when we need artists like Morrissey more than ever what did we really expect - a swift 'bye, please close the door behind you Mozzer. There's no time for people with opinions anymore, not now that we have artistic geniuses' such as Sam And Mark'. If it wasn't for the poor performance of his last 2 albums then the question of whether this comeback would be successful wouldn't have even been questioned, but when you take into account he's been searching year upon year for a record deal that has eluded him there were doubts.

"Irish Blood, English Heart" is such a statement of intent and a song that really grows on each and every listen. Morrissey almost playing with the people who ever dared to call him racist before standing tall on his own with no political affiliation, "I dreaming of a time when the English are sick to death of Labour and Tories". Ridiculously the very same people that questioned Morrissey's alleged racism were the ones that promoted the Britpop explosion some years later, a movement that's overbearing memory is that of Noel Gallagher sporting a Union Jack guitar. Morrissey is clearly such an English character, which made the move to LA such a strange one, yet on "America Is Not The World" he attacks his adopted homeland with a opening line of "America your heads too big...I love you,but I just wish you'd stay where your based" which draws a counter balance to the lyrics in "Bengali In Platforms". To underline his point he adds "Where the president is never black, female or gay. And until that day you've got nothing to say" and while it's not up there with Michael Moore or even his best lyric to date it lays how he feels on the line with a fresh direct approach.

The two songs which really standout as highlights, "First Of The Gang To Die" and "The World Is Fall Of Crashing Bores" continue two recurring themes in Morrissey's work. The former, his fascination with rough boys takes the form of a young gang member called Hector. It could be the Krays, it could be the boxing period. This time it happens to be a young mexican. The latter song attacks celebrity culture ("lockjaw popstars thicker than pigshit") as well as "policewomen, policemen, silly women, taxmen, uniformed whores". It's fare to say that the judge who summed him up as "devious, truculent and unreliable where his own interests are concerned" are amongst the crashing bores he attacks.

"How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel" is typically self depreciating Morrissey and with the exception of lyrics such as "I've had my face dragged through 15 miles of shit" it's nothing we haven't heard on previous solo albums. "All The Lazy Dykes" thankfully lives up to its song titles with some delicious chiming melodies and mournful backing vocals blending together as only Morrissey can. "You Know I Couldn't Last" features a classic descending piano sequence before exploding into a guitar laden chorus with Morrissey crooning like Sinatra.

"You Are The Quarry" is a return to form in the sense that Morrissey is back in the public eye with an album that delivers so much more than "Maladjusted" or "Southpaw Grammar". It's certainly not up there with "Your Arsenal" or "Vauxhall And I", but these were career defining albums and they would be almost impossible to repeat....this is Morrissey in 2004 with an album that shows the pouting young pups how it's really supposed to be done

Alex McCann

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