Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Viva Hate’

Moz featuring somewhat creepy child that isn't his.

Moz featuring somewhat creepy child that isn't his.

It took me a couple (nearly three) months to buy it, but I did, frankly because I’m in love with Morrissey.  Prior to Years of Refusal‘s I heard “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris,” and was rather unimpressed.  I’ve been under the impression that Morrissey’s guitarist/musical director, Boz Boorer, has been rather booring (sic for a cheap pun).

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly am of the persuasion that Moz’s previous album was actually better than most music in general (to the credit of both Moz and Boz), but held up against, say, Viva Hate and Vaxhaull and I (to name two very solid albums), Ringleader of the Tormentors is not especially great.  Something about Ringleader didn’t quite grab me in the way that even You Are the Quarry did (and did well).  But I eventually got over my fears and bought it.  Here’s what I discovered:

First the bad news: Years of Refusal (like Ringleader before it) has not [yet] captured me heart like the Morrissey tunes I am in love with.  Something about this album feels slightly soulless and overproduced, at least musically.

This next bit can be interpreted either way: the lyrics of this album are very strong, very aggressive, and even combative/pissy.  I personally enjoy when Morrissey is pompus (though I can’t say quite the same for Bono).

Now the good news: I’d consider the album to be rather dynamic.  Morrissey considers this work his strongest, and I would somewhat agree with that as far as sheer vocal dynamics go.  Morrissey demonstrates on this album, perhaps better than any of his recent efforts, that he is an excellent vocalist; clear, pitch-perfect, and versatile.  The backing music is mediocre though (unfortunately, something I’ve come to expect from Boz), with several strong points, but leaves you begging for a Smiths reunion.  *Also, there are coyote howls in the middle of a song (maybe that will entice you to purchase and listen to find them).

If you’re a fan of Morrissey and you don’t think he’s abandoned everything he once stood for when he wrote You Are the Quarry, (we’ll ignore Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted), you might enjoy this album.

CAI contributors and readers, your thoughts on Years of Refusal?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Greg has done an excellent job of raking in this year’s best (at least in his highly-informed opinion) albums.  That’s great stuff (I’m only speaking generally because I actually have a more negative review for Coldplay’s Viva La Vida), but how much of it will we be listening to in two years?  Because music is in-and-out so frequently I’ve composed what I consider the best albums of 2008, though none of them were released this year.  Lend me your ear eye.

If you or I were to look at a list of our favorite albums from two years ago it would probably be different than the list we would make today.  I’m suspecting a lot of the albums that I considered my favorite from two years ago have lost ground in my personal rating and that is not to say that the latest albums have replaced them.  What I’ve found is that through recycling the music I listen to I sit with an album longer and it really grows on me.  For instance, I first heard Elliott Smith’s Figure 8 in 2001.  Since then this album has been climbing its way up my list and I considered it my favorite album of 2005 (even better than Come on Feel the Illinoise!, the quintessential indie-folk hit that year).  If Greg’s picks were subjective, mine will likely be hyper-subjective.  This whole thing also has to do with the fact that the music I listen to usually gets to my ears one of three ways: by way of NPR/KCRW, by way of associated acts (i.e. I heard of Sufjan Stevens because he once played in Danielson, an earlier favorite of mine), or by way of a highly sophisticated (and elitist) filtration system consisting largely of Greg Stump.

With all of that said, I must also add that I have not purchased much new music from this year.  In fact, as I look at my computer the only albums I see in my iTunes library from 2008 are Ratatat’s LP3, Danielson’s Danielson Alive EP (free online), and Danielson’s Trying Hartz.  I’m not against new music, but I suppose that after sampling I wasn’t compelled to buy many new full albums this year.  That is not to say that I’ve not grown in my musical breadth: according to my “date added” information in my iTunes library I’ve added more than forty albums to my iTunes this year (and it’s not over), thus I’ve purchased more than forty albums this year (buying used music on Amazon is incredible).  So out of the albums that I’ve purchased this year here are my top ten.

non20081

(more…)

Read Full Post »