Album Cover
You Are the Quarry
Attack Records
May 18, 2004


Extracted words from Morrissey's latest release You Are the Quarry: "America, it brought you the hamburger/America, you know where you can shove your hamburger." So, then, we're in agreement that these are his worst and most horrendous lyrics, no? I know, this is nothing new for the former Smiths frontman, "Frankly Mr. Shankly" was no high prose, but in this case his vocal adeptness is not enough to pull it off. When late night caffeine keeps you up, and stress' strain stricken you sleepless, I tell you, cast off your sheep and count the wrongs in Morrissey's latest album.

Of course, the best Morrissey record would only be a shimmer of the Smith's shadow. Perhaps, even, this is Morrissey's best solo effort to date, and it tells a telling tale. As we grow older we tend to, as Freud purveyed, turn our psychotic misery into general unhappiness. And I tell you, psychotic misery is so much more interesting than general unhappiness. And very boring is general unhappiness, yadda, yadda, politics here, America bashing there, more yadda's. Most of the album has Morrissey's voice all the way up front (think early Britney) and surrounding accompaniment seems only an afterthought. As if it were all pulled from a sound effects library labeled "Pop Rock Background Music: The 90's." Subtitled: "Sweeping guitars, Moody Ambient Refrains and Chorus-centric Approaches."

There is one song that offers something more than Morrissey's voice as palatable material. "Irish Blood, English Heart" is steeped in a heavy rock anthem that! even chances a small love affair! with distortion! Unfortunately, the song is much too close to a parody to have any valuable merit. Morrissey just doesn't appear to be there. What? He's here now you say? In this room? Where? Oh, I didn't really mean "boring." Did I say boring?

Quarry contains all of Morrissey's loverboy vocal adroitness but forgone is any competent songwriting. So indicative is this album of the strengths of the typecast, meaning, that when Morrissey is playing the young and loveless shy boy-man singer he can transcend the hazy-eyed misspoken old school rocker cliché. But, when he starts up with the politics he starts down the road of aging irrelevancy. Morrissey even says it best, "You must be wondering how/ the boy next door turned out/...the world is full/ so full of crushing bores/ and I must be one." Yawn. Did you expect me to politely disagree? Well, my silence speaks encyclopedias.

In this instance I feel like the doctor with a terminal patient. In that, whatever remedies I prescribe there is no cure for the ills beset of this record. If I were a spiritual guru I'd try to render solace in the fact that reincarnation offers a second chance, and for Morrissey, there are as many opportunities for redemption as he cares to take.

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. America Is Not the World
  2. Irish Blood, English Heart
  3. I Have Forgiven Jesus
  4. Come Back to Camden
  5. I'm Not Sorry
  6. The World Is Full of Crashing Bores
  7. How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?
  8. First of the Gang to Die
  9. Let Me Kiss You
  10. All the Lazy Dykes
  11. I Like You
  12. You Know I Couldn't Last