THE MOZ IS BACK
You Are The Quarry is the seventh studio album by Morrissey. It is also his first in seven years. It seems that seven has proved to be a lucky number for the former front-man of The Smiths. The critics love it, as do the fans... The Moz is back. Number 2 in the charts! Unlike much of his post-Smiths material, this record manages to provide music of a quality to support the lyrics, which are among Morrissey's best ever. His voice has acquired a quavering, crooner-like quality which I think suits the songs perfectly.
- America is not the world: A nice little look at world politics, with particular reference to Morrissey's adopted homeland. He claims he loves it, then tells it, "you know where you can stick your hamburgers". Exciting music, but no answer here to the question why he has forsaken England.
- Irish blood, English Heart: The first single to be released from the album (on 10th May 2004 in the UK). Pleasingly, it entered the UK charts at number 3 (and at number 4 in the US). A great, rocking track. Received a good deal of airplay. Some have accused Morrissey of jumping on Billy Bragg's England, Half English bandwagon, although the wagon was never drawing too much attention! "There is no one on earth I'm afraid of".
- I have forgiven Jesus: Quite a striking title. The song is less inspiring than could have been hoped. Poor Morrissey has been cursed with a whole lotta love, and has found nobody to give it to. But he's ok with that now. "I was a good kid/through hail and snow I'd go/Just to moon you."
- Come back to Camden: A mournful complaint in the tradition of Everyday is like Sunday. Not enough people sing about drinking tea. Proof that Morrissey is indeed still English at heart. "Where taxi drivers never stop talking/Under slate-grey Victorian sky."
- I'm not sorry: Another slow one, but its wit redeems it. Credited in the lyrics as a mere "and", there is a wailing note which sounds to me as if it could really be either "Alan" or "Helene". Whoever you are, Morrissey wants you to take his hand! This is a drifting, melodic and very beautiful love song. "The woman of my dreams/Well there never really was one".
- The world is full of crashing bores: An amusing little ditty in which Morrissey pokes a great deal of fun at a great number of people. Welcome back to the soaring, melodic cries. "This world - I am afraid/Is designed for crashing bores".
- How can anybody possibly know how I feel?: Now I think this will become a classic. Cracking music behind Morrissey's witty and self-depricating lyrics. "I've had my face dragged through fifteen miles of shit/And I do not, and I do not like it". He's on top form.
- First of the gang to die: Absolutely stunning. Who else could rhyme stars with reservoirs in a couplet about love? A charming tale of a young cad called Hector who got a bullet in his gullet. My favourite track on the album: difficult to listen to without feeling an urgo to pogo. "You have never been in love/Until you've seen the dawn rise/Behind the Home For The Blind".
- Let me kiss you: How much more self-depricating can you get? Morrissey encourages his victim to close his/her eyes and "think of someone they physically admire" before he kisses them. A few Johnny Marr-esque jangly guitar moments, which is nice. "My heart is open to you".
- All the lazy dykes: This seems to be some kind of encouragement to come out of the closet. Judging by the reaction among some Morrissey fans, this is the least popular track on the album. Hopefully this is not just a reaction to the word dyke. It is one of the weaker tracks, in terms of the music, which is unchallenging. "Come and join the girls".
- I like you: Morrissey squeezes out the title line with a pained tone of voice. Yet he still doesn't manage to say that he loves anyone. I imagine we may be still a few albums away from hearing those three little words. We're assuming that the days of Morrissey roaming the hills which are alive with celibate cries are over. The only tarnish on an otherwise superb track is that he can't resist getting in a quick reference to "Magistrates". Get over it! "You're not right in the head, and nor am I, and this is why I like you".
- You know I couldn't last: An odd mixture of heavy guitars and and whistful piano music, to fit Morrissey's lyrics. At times mournful and at others venemous, this seems a peculiar end to the album. Rather threatening! "So don't let the blue eyes fool you/They're just gelignite/Loaded and aiming right between your eyes".
He's back, and you'd better watch out.
Released on Sanctuary Records on 17th May 2004