Morrissey / You Are The Quarry

You Are The Quarry (Gatefold)You Are the Quarry is the seventh studio album by Morrissey, the former lead singer of The Smiths. The album was released on 17 May 2004.

The release was a significant event in Morrissey’s career for several reasons. Throughout the late 90s, Morrissey was treated with contempt by the British music press and subsequently became a pariah with respect to the Britpop movement,[citation needed] turning to progressive rock in lieu of his usual indie pop. With You Are the Quarry, Morrissey returns to the musical mainstream. Because it was his first studio album in seven years, the critics and the public were more willing to give him a chance and offer a tabula rasa. As such, the first single “Irish Blood, English Heart” became his highest charting single in the UK at #3 and received significant airplay in the US, going to #36 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album charted at #2 in the UK (held off the top spot by Keane, which prompted Morrissey to joke in concert at the time “With regard to the album ‘You Are the Quarry’, if your name is Keane then you better leave now”.) and became Morrissey’s highest charting album in the US, reaching #11.

The album is in many ways unique in comparison to Morrissey’s previous work. Musically, Jerry Finn‘s production gives the album a very mainstream, commercial feel, but it also makes the songs very appealing and polished. This is especially evident in the percussion, which is prominent and melodic. Guitarists Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte craft songs that fit somewhere between modern indie rock and AOR. Lyrically, Morrissey touches on many themes, varying from politics to relationships to Morrissey’s place in society.

The Analysis:

America Is Not The World—-Delivering one of his best crooning vocals in years, as well as his most blistering reading on American consumption, Morrissey is in full poetic form…attacking many of the inadequacies of American life over some of the most pleasant and endearing pop music again surprises many of his fans by reminding us that he is still here, still strong and still speaking his word….regardless of whom he might piss off. This is MY Morrissey!

Irish Blood, English Heart—-Just as quickly, Morrissey goes from chastising the Americans to his own Brits. Perhaps one of the best singles Morrissey & Co. have ever produced, this has balls and lots of charisma. Morrissey has rarely sounded better or more driven by a track…the chorus delivers a magical hook that will live in your brain for YEARS…and punctuated by barbed lyrics that make you think and urges you to do research. a true triumph!

I Have Forgiven Jesus—-To this day, this remains one of my favorite tracks from this release. Full of the kind of self-deprecating lyrics that only Stephan can deliver, this both makes you laugh and feel introspective at the same time. The chorus is this huge beautiful melody that allows Morrissey to sing in that upper register that breaks him free of the croon mode…reminding me of the old days. This is a huge shining star that for me has never quite dimmed.

Come Back To Camden—-Oh Stephan… I truly love you!!! It remains impossibly difficult for me to fathom how someone else in the world magically feels the same way I do…release after release, he always relates to me on a very personal level. It may be just a line or a melody…or in this case a full song. This is magical and incredibly personal for me….my own personal hero!

I’m Not Sorry—-Starting off with a pretty nice drum delivery and a classic Morrissey style guitar, the vocal enters with a drama and flair that only Morrissey can deliver. There is a slight vocal echo to the vocal that gives the song an even more lonely feel. the words are intense and cause you to stop and examine them all with a microscope. This is Morrissey at his best…rarely has he delivered such poignant and real lyrics set to a brilliant landscape of instrumentation.

The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores—-This begins a bit noisy, but silences to allow the slow and sexy croon of Morrissey delivering line after line that you feel an overwhelming urge to take apart and study. This is just magical…as the music builds and builds, the vocal increases with intensity as Morrissey urges you to take him in your arms and love him….this is just brilliant! A true piece of art, this one!!!

How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel—-Returning to the much more Boz driven guitar delivery, Morrissey manages to deliver his croon over whatever music is presented to him. This is still amazing to me. Morrissey proclaims his hurt and disdain and still steadfastly maintains that no one could know how he feels…and in a graphic way…but surprise Stephan….we know how you feel!!!

First Of the Gang To Die—-Perhaps the crown jewel of this entire release, Morrissey delivers a single that will live on and on and on!!! This has all of the energy of The Smiths, the integrity of the mans solo beginnings and a huge promise of the future. This is magnificent…I am at a loss for words here…this is a huge, shining, bright moment that will live on forever. Viva Morrissey!!!

Let Me Kiss You—-Another of those magical songs that allows Morrissey to lend his tender croon to the mastery of a band that has learned to play around his voice. this is accentuated by some nice backing vocals from the band…beefing the song up a bit and giving it even more emotion. The piano is a nice touch…giving the track an even more grand feel to it. Morrissey delivers line after line that plays on his desolation and lonliness…allowing us to believe that the man is still alone and desolate after all of these years…I find this hard to believe…but I’ll buy into it.

All The Lazy Dykes—-Beginning with some nice drums and electronics, Morrissey delivers a nice vocal…I’m not even going to get into the political correctness of such a song…I expect Morrissey to push the envelope and indeed he does. This is a bit brazen…even for Stephan, but the song is another triumphant example of a return to pure form. This is brilliant!

I Like You—-For Morrissey, this is a surprisingly upbeat and rather positive song. The music matches the vibe of the lyrics to a tee. Stephan delivers line after line that speaks of infatuation and the quivering belief that he had allowed emotion to enter into his squalid world of emptiness. this is a triumphant….leading one to believe that Morrissey had experienced love and perhaps the crash of misery afterwards…welcome to the real world my friend!

You Know I Couldn’t Last—-Ending his stellar comeback with a magnificent ballad full of vivid lyrics are heavy piano, Morrissey allows you to totally lose yourself in the moment as he delivers lines after line about the terrible press and how they can twist your words and make you to be something you might not like. Morrissey delivers a tale that is career encompassing…full of fan sway and media spin….and the danger of buying into the whole damn lot of it. This is spectacular!!!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]


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