"California Son" review in La Repubblica.it

Morrissey in the Italian press
Part California son review, part For Britain badge controversy. Is it possible to enjoy the artist regardless of the person?

Morrissey, il nuovo album e quella spilletta che rovina tutto - La Repubblica.it
Il 24 maggio esce 'California Son', primo disco di cover dell'ex cantante degli Smiths, che omaggia Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell e le canzoni con cui è cresciuto. Ma ancora una volta spuntano le sue idee vicine all'estrema destra britannica
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Google translation (as always: take with a pinch of salt).

"Morrissey, the new album and that pin that ruins everything

On May 24th, California Son comes out, the first cover album by the former Smiths singer, who pays homage to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and the songs he grew up with. But once again his ideas are popping up near the British extreme right.

The quotation is known and often blamed: "Don't forget the songs that made you cry and the songs that saved your life", Morrissey sang in 1985 in Rubber ring , one of the many songs with which his group, the Smiths , marked the life of a community of fans that over the years would have grown out of proportion well beyond the status of cult band.
They reproach it to him to tell him he has changed, that there is much left of that quell'adolescente ground geva 's bedroom Manchester at sentinel ndohis favorite songs, now that he has become a grumpy and controversial middle-aged gentleman (I am 60 on May 22) always ready to challenge his fans with blows of declarations or the smell of British sovereignty. He was on tour in the mid-eighties to promote labor among young people.

The controversy " Morrissey and the extreme right" has held the bench for years in Great Britain, and at the origin - see Kevin Spacey and the deleted roles in the films, Michael Jackson and the ban on the radio for the accusations of pedophiles to, Montanelli and the young African brides - there is the usual question: is it possible to separate the artist, among the most important of British music, from man, for many questionable? Morrissey , allergic to social gatherings, miraculously fails to feed the arguments and as the controversy gradually loses strength , people forget a little and at that point the most important thing remains: the songs , some beautiful .

St for short stays , for example, had nearly escaped . The new album, California Son , which will be released on May 24th, is for the first time a record of covers, touched and moving tribute to the music of his artistic education. Just those "songs that made you cry and the songs that saved your life". Dark, sophisticated, not at all trivial.

But then a small pin was enough to ruin almost everything. A pin worn with nonchalance during the recent American tour (almost two million dollars for theresidency of seven dates on Broadway) and also for the TV show by Jimmy Fallon. A pin with a trident pitchfork, symbol of For Britain, a British ultra-right movement founded by Annie Marie Waters, released from Nigel Farage's party because in her opinion too moderate. Movement already publicly supported by Morrissey , who however continues to call himself non-racist.

Too bad, because California son is the first album after decades that even the fans of the first hour of his Smiths could have listened to fully enjoying the music without worrying about Morrissey's words and ideas , without a reference to Brexit (as in Jacky's only) happy when she's up on the stage ), without immigration stories being told with ambiguous turns ( Bengali in platforms ), without reference to nationalism ( The National Front Disco ) .
This is his love letter to music, his music and all music. And what a great fan of music it has always been Morrissey , he who as a teenager in the seventies wrote to magazines to complain about the reviews of his favorite artists and to review them in turn (" Depeche Mode will not be the most boring band in history, but certainly I'm in the running "), he who founded a fanzine dedicated to the New York Dolls , he who came out of the infamous bedroom to go and hear the Sex Pistols but then complain about their clothing, he arguing with the other half creative of the Smiths, guitarist Johnny Marr, because he also wanted to sing pieces of reassuring sixties women like Cilla Black.
But then during the long and checkered career to gifts has always reserved seats of the second floor, a few relegated cover a b-side or live performances - the T.Rex the Cosmic dancer (of which there is also a duet with David Bowie before two quarrels), Redondo Beach from her friend Patti Smith, the other friend Sandie Shaw, Satellite of love by Lou Reed, but also Moonriver .

But no, it would be too easy . P er California son Morrissey has made refined choices. The Indian American songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie ( Suffer the l ittle c hildren ) , the glam Canadian -rocker Jobriath who died of AIDS in 1983 ( Morning Starship ), Lady Willpower sung in 1968 by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap uniformly from the Civil War, but also the protest song by Bob Dylan for the rights of African Americans Only a pawnin their game . He has fun with Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day with Laura Nyro's Wedding Bell Bluesbrought to success by the Fifth Dimension , and abandons herself with passion to the old singer-songwriter of Phil Ochs ( Days of decision ), to the harmonic evolutions of Loneliness r emembers w hat h appiness f orgets Burt Bacharach entrusted Dionne Warwick sang and confidentiality of Roy Orbison in it's over . And then Carly Simon (When you close your eyes ) and even Joni Mitchell ( Don't interrupt the sorrow ). Here and there, an absolute novelty for him, a little less than misanthrope, second voices and collaborations emerge , from the LP singer to members of Grizzly Bear, Broken Social Scene and Young The Giant (with whom he shares the producer Joe Chiccarelli ). Obviously, being Morrissey the strange, the very successful cover of Back on the chain of the Pretenders realized a few months ago kept it out of the album. It is so fun.
California son is also the mosthis most pop album in years , he's the one who always defended and relaunched rock even when it was less fashionable. Too bad - a bit 'of parochialism - did not decide to sing even " Heart you are suffering" because Heart Rita Pavone has often cited as his preferred sta song a. He once said that he also appreciated Yes by Gigliola Cinquetti.

Holding the heterogeneous selection together are two things: the love of Morrisseyfor these songs it is clear and the singer's passion for his own voice, which at sixty seems increasingly convincing and clean, clear, more like a crooner than an indie star as in the beginning. A Morrissey likes to sing and likes to sing well.
Curiously, despite its natural propensity to theatricality fragoro sa, it is precisely the most melodramatic tracks on the album -Tim Hardin 's funeral eulogy Lenny's Tuneand Melanie's tragic Some say I got devil - those that are less suited to his strings . Obvious: to Morrissey the only melodrama that really interests us is always the one whose protagonist is sol or a man named Morrissey ."

All grammar & spacing etc via translate. Anyone is welcome to add to this to make it read more comfortably.

Is it possible to enjoy the artist regardless of the person?

Yes, it is.

Miles Davis used to do a little pimping. His music is still great.

John Lennon was a wife beater. His music is still great.

Morrissey wears a For Britain badge. His music is still great.
surely if for Britain were extreme right the bbc would have him nowhere near their radio 2 playlists.
Kimber...dude. it's so f***ing awesome what a little pin can do to make Steve's sales in Brittin go sky high! Great idea! You rock! Steve's Dodger tix waiting for you at the Beverly Hills office!
They are on the extreme right wing. You give the BBC more merit than it deserves.

I’m curious. What would be a centrist position on animal rights immigration taxes and other topics mentioned in there manifesto statement or whatever
I’m curious. What would be a centrist position on animal rights immigration taxes and other topics mentioned in there manifesto statement or whatever

For Britain is a centrist party.

Look at our current Conservative government (or even our last New Labour government). Between them they have privatised virtually everything. They have cut off benefits for the needy. They have closed down so much youth services like clubs and sports centres to keep kids off the street. They have encouraged crime (which mainly affects the working class) by cutting police despite an actual stabbing and shooting epidemic. I could go on and on.

They have attempted to crack down on free speech. They have provided the safe send-and-return of UK resident terrorists to fight in Libya on their illegal behalf (one of whom went on to bomb Manchester Arena). They have allowed charity food banks to become the norm (as in Victorian pre-dole days). They have effectuated one economic change after another that has made the rich richer and poor poorer.

These are not left wing or centrist policies - but severe monetarist RIGHT WING policies, and they have all been undertaken by our current Conservative government in power.

For Britain are sensible centrists in comparison. But we're not supposed to have the common-sense to notice truths like that.
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surely if for Britain were extreme right the bbc would have him nowhere near their radio 2 playlists.

This is not necessarily true. You don't express any sign of support for For Britain by playing a Morrissey song, and most casual listeners won't make the connection when hearing a Morrissey song. All you hear is his voice with words that satisfy the BBC's pc criteria.
I read somewhere on this board that For Britain is banned from media attention. So the real test is to see whether Morrissey still gets invitations to appeals on TV shows (where he can wear the damn badge). That verdict is still out.
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