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  Irish Blood, English Heart  
  Attack / Sanctuary  
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Morrissey is back, you see. Only this time, it's personal. Er, rather, he's mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Er... darn it, i seem to be getting all flustered with my Hollywood promo tag lines... Which is highly apropos, considering that the Mozfather, gloomy songster to a generation of new wave kids (yours truly included), has left the soggy street of Manchester for the smoggy clime of Los Angeles....

Apparently, the move was good for him, since ole Morrissey, vocalist of everyone's favorite mopey new wave act, has released his seventh solo album. Has it been that long? You know, The Smiths only really released 4 albums, 5 if you count Louder Than Bombs. Good gravy. Morrissey is now more productive as a solo artist than he was with The Smiths!

The problem with that line of reasoning is that, well, much of his solo catalog has been an acquired taste. Morrissey almost lapsed into self-parody there for a while (Maladjusted = ick!). But no more. Seven years off, and the man has things to say, people to insult, songs to sing. His music is more political than it has been in a long time, and the rebirth of Morrissey starts off with this handy EP/Single (who can tell what format is what anymore!).

The title track leads things off. When this song came out in the spring, it seemed like i heard the song everywhere. It's arpeggioed beginning poured from other cars stuck in traffic, the thunderous chorus echoed from shops in East Atlanta as i walked by them. The thing is that it's got a great rhythm, plus it moves slowly then explodes into cacophony of guitars, and Morrissey's voice echoes that -- quiet at first, then soaring along with the guitars. That, and it disses on British history. This is, quite simply, a great tune. Really.

It's followed by It's Hard to Walk Tall When You're Small. This song opens with a guitar hit and rapid fire drum riff that hearkens back to The Clash's Tommy Gun, which is a cool homage. In general, this tune features some nice drumming and good punkish guitarwork which is all trebly grating. It's catchy.

Next is a nice pop song with a typical dreary Morrissey undertones, Munich Air Disaster 1958. It's catchy, has some strings, but otherwise is a pretty typical, if decent, pop song.

The EP ends with a slow, piano-driven tune called Never Played Symphonies. The rhythm here is a simple shaker rhythm, and Morrissey croons along with piano, eventually accompanied by some lush stringwork. This is actually a damned fine song, as Morrissey lets loose, vocally, with all the passion and energy he can muster.

So Morrissey has given us a fine single with three exclusive tunes. But that has always been his way; even The Smiths released great b-sides. So, if you are a Morrissey fan and have liked You Are the Quarry, then this is an excellent purchase.

Morrissey is back, in rare form. Thank goodness. I had missed him.

Related Links:

You Are the Quarry, the album this single is taken from.


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