Saturday, February 28, 2009

Morrissey: Years of Refusal

Artist: Morrissey
Album: Years of Refusal
Date Released: February 16, 2009
Genre: alternative pop/rock
Rating: 8.1

Review: Years of Refusal may be Morrissey's ninth solo album, but it's one that he describes as being his "strongest work to date." Self-accolades aside, there may be some some truth to this. Not content to put out disposable crap and ride on the coattails of his previous successes, Morrissey has weaved together a punchy, raucous and highly enjoyable album. With Years of Refusal, he has shown that he's far from irrelevant.

Much of the album's energy and tone can be attributed to Morrissey's exceptional band and the recording process itself. Years of Refusal was tracked live, giving it a garage band vibe. As band member Roger Manning noted, "I am so used to recording keyboards in the more traditional overdub scenario that being asked to invent parts "on the fly" and track with the band while Morrissey sang live was a very refreshing and challenging experience."

While Years of Refusal may not be as polished as previous releases, Morrissey's sense of humor still shines through. Now deeply embedded in middle age, he laments with tongue-in-cheek about how "You Were Good in Your Time." And on "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," Morrissey the crooner finds himself fully immersed in his element. These tracks will undoubtedly sound fantastic when performed live -- along with Morrissey's patented theatrics and powerful stage presence.

Years of Refusal is a solid return to form for such a beloved artist.

[Note: This album features one of my favorite covers so far this year -- I love the contented look on the little guy's face.]

Stand-out tracks: "Something is Squeezing My Skull" and "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris."

1 comment:

  1. Best tracks: "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore," "Something is Squeezing My Skull," "You Were Good In Your Time."

    And "All You Need is Me" is perfectly wonderful.