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26.2 miles in under 3 and a half hours. Sounds easy on paper and I will be posting regular updates, the highs and the lows. Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Review: Morrissey - Years Of Refusal

His recent activity on our shores have caused the legions of fawning fans to rise to the surface once more, defending their fay hero to the hilt.

It seems our Moz would do anything rather than stay in this country. It seems he is less loyal to his loyal following than, I'm sure, they would like. He is no better than Phil Collins really. Stay in the U.S. or Italy, anywhere, just not Britain. Just nip over, raid their manbags and purses and flee like Raffles into the night.

Before he starts his biannual theft of the nation's overdrawn bank accounts he has dropped another one of his much hyped solo albums. The man who railed against the record companies so effectively on 'Paint A Vulgar Picture' is doing the rounds, laughing at Wossy's gags on his chat show and looking very uncomfortable. The credit crunch truly must be universal. He has even resorted to a strip with his band to try and shift a few extra units. Sellout? Well let's look inside. 

It's a hairdrying, furnace blast opener in 'Something Is Squeezing My Skull'. He sounds positively masculine, barking the names of prescription drugs out against the howling tsunami of his full-on band. It has the light thrash of a limp Therapy? under his Manc-Irish Proclaimer-lite chorus. 500 miles?

The next two bang along in a similar fashion, like Spector has burst in to the studio and told everyone to play like there were 50 of them at gunpoint. 'I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris' takes the foot off the pedal in a Stranglers on the Bontempi kind of manner. 'All You Need Is Me' is fine, it has a great lilting verse but the chord changes are somewhat pedestrian.

The Spanish clippity clop of 'When Last I Spoke To Carol' is a welcome respite from the unnatural tone of the album and provides one of the highlights. It's playful, and shows the humour that Morrissey used to display so well and in such abundance. He also manages to stray of the lyrics and 'wo-wo' giving the tune an air of spontaneity.

Halfway through and I am just crying out for a lead guitar line or a frickin' piano or something to break the monotony. The beautiful bass of Andy Rourke is a very distant memory and this very tiring album wears thin very quickly. Even when the Spanish trumpet reprises for 'One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell'.

'It's Not Your Birthday Anymore' and to be honest I am not looking forward to it if someone is going to get me this half-arsed, one-trick pony of an album. I'm going to get my copies of Strangeways and Vauxhall and pour myself a Baileys. Hopefully next time Morrissey deigns to darken our shores he can come bearing finer gifts than this.


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