It‘s pretty good. Praising the music, the production and especially his singing. 5 out of 6
Great translation! Old Crosshead Strikes AgainHere's the translation:
Just in time for the 60th birthday, one of the most trend-setting lyrics and singers in Britain indulges in the luxury of a cover album. After his last studio albums with critics and fans were also not applauded because of the no longer quite witty lyrics, Morrissey proves on "California Son" exclusively American songwriters of the 60s and 70s the honor.
Paradoxical and yet logical. The man from Manchester said goodbye to his homeland in the late 90s and specifically discovered America's west coast. In the former villa of Clark Gable and on the Sunset Strip, the many malicious reviews from his motherland could be better tolerated. In addition, he cultivated his querulant character from the distance against anything and everything that was not to his liking.
Despite his unspeakable fame, earned with Johnny Marr and The Smiths especially in the UK, despite touring and triumphant homecoming concerts in England and Europe, the man who once skilfully spoke for the misunderstood of this planet, moved away from large parts of his fans.
A process that escalated in more and more absurd interviews of the singer (for example in the mirror), unreflected nationalist slogans, tour cancellations and a quasi-muzzle. He almost made it in 2018 to overthrow his own monument. However, the crack that has since passed through the fan base is clearly visible. So now an American cover album, appearances on Broadway and touring far away from Europe in the jubilee year.
But what good is the new record track by track?
Before the young Steven Patrick Morrissey was swept along by the English punk movement, in the late 60s and early 70s in the Morrissey family's female-dominated household in Manchester, many US artists with easy-listening credits as well as pop and folk protest songs were on the show Turntable or on the radio.
Jobriath is not a surprising opener with his "Morning Starship". America's glam response to David Bowie remains a tragic marginal figure in the annals of pop. Morrissey has been back in the role of the unfortunate "being" since 1991, when he wanted to hire him to support a tour, only to find out that Jobriath had died of AIDS in the early 80s. The glam rocker, with massive guitars, dramatic piano stops and a clever sound / quiet play, is not that far from Morrissey's musical late work. Ed Droste as a backing guest vocalist hardly matters. Everything on the planet Morrissey.
Surprisingly close to the original, "Do not Interrupt The Sorrow" by the everlasting Joni Mitchell comes along. Wonderfully jazzy interludes and a saxophone lead through the song of an artist who admired Morrissey so much that he personally interviewed her in 1999. Surprising and good.
Attempting to play Dylan with "Only A Pawn In Their Game" makes some of his listeners stifle their breath after the past 20 months. A big protest song against oppression, performed in folk style with a wonderfully clear voice from Morrissey: No one would have expected that. A curiosity that works musically despite all skepticism.
Also "Suffer The Little Children" by Buffy St Marie and "Days Of Decision" by the brilliant Phil Ochs are seemingly unusual songs for the diva from Manchester. But already here it stands out that he makes these pieces formally his own. So Morrissey was so soulful on the last solo record just did not hear singing.
This is particularly true for the interpretation of Roy Orbisons "It's Over". The transformation to the aged American crooner seems to be at its peak here. Maximum drama in music and lyrics, the master in top form and Laura Pergolizzi provides the weird sounds that once took over the disgraced young Kristenen in the Morrissey cosmos.
The following three songs reanimate the easy listening habits of America in the late 60s. "Wedding Bell Blues" with Billie Joe Armstrong as the vocal counterpart is disarmingly beautiful. "Tongue-In-Cheek" impatiently calls Morrissey "Bill" to marry. In general, Morrissey is consistent with this cover when it comes to overcoming gender boundaries. He slips into female roles and female vocal parts as well as male.
"Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets" is a feather-light prancing vintage West Coast pop and "Lady Willpower" sounds like "Schlager" in the best "Guilty Pleasures" sense for German listening habits. When the almost 60-year-old raises his baritone in the chorus and languishes demanding the love of a strong woman, that is already impressive and encourages complete devotion while singing along.
The final three pieces of this anniversary album are much more introverted and reveal more about the singer's nature. "When You Close Your Eyes" by Carly Simon is a dream come true. Changes in tempo and explosive chorus sound supple and close to the idiosyncratic Morrissey pop songs of the early 90s.
The piano lament "Lenny's Tune" lets one's blood freeze and mourn Morrissey, even from a foreign pen, the loss of close friends, as he always has done. Finally, "Some Say I Got Devil" with a lonesome trumpet and Western Bravado sets a perfect ending point. Cleverly, the jubilarian once again figuratively plays with his reputation, which some critics call evil, even though Satan had already rejected his soul in 1997.
Morrissey's often criticized core band around Boz Boorer plays competently and disciplined throughout the record. The number of guests is manageable and adds to the overall sound no significant additions. The anniversary is always in the foreground. The original arrangements are cleverly reinterpreted to the vocal range and taste of the protagonist. Everything has a good flow and producer veteran Joe Chiccarelli can finally set the accents that you might have hoped for a little more on the last two studio records.
Morrissey actually manages to use his plate to express his mannerisms and the essence of his nature with the help of strange composition after 60 years and the record grows more and more with each spin.
Happy birthday and nice that you are still among the living, old crosshead!
Interesting thought, who would you think he should cover?? I know boy George is a huge fan, that would be interesting. Maybe a duet with pj Harvey,, a cover of wake me up before you go- go.. A sexy video with bananarama perhaps.. we could be here all night with this oneReally can’t wait for this, if it’s a success
in his eyes, then maybe he’ll do another one, covers by British artists.
I bet that Buffy St Marie song will rock live!