"California Son" review in Tonspion (4/5 stars)

Morrissey - California Son (4 of 5 stars) - TONSPION
By Kerstin Kratochwill

German music website tonspion reviewed California Son.

Translation via google.

“Oh Morrissey: The beauty of the new cover versions have a flaw, because escaping into nostalgia can not just wipe away the presence of some ugly remarks - unless you're dazzled by the Californian sun .

Morrissey has a grudge against politics, the media and the monarchy in the UK. For a long time his new homeland has been the United States - even though he has a grudge against Donald Trump. One of the many inconsistencies of a Morrissey is that, of course, he claims the privilege of living where he pleases but apparently begrudging others.

The self-determined "California Son" is not a sunny shy musician, but now sometimes become what is commonly called an "old white man". In this case, this is less a matter of the fact that the former The Smiths singer is heading for the 60, but that the former, as a lovably eccentric musician, has transformed himself into a right-wing conservative and self-righteous man (with privileges) who is a right-wing populist and anti-Islamic party For Britain professes.

On the one hand, this may be due to his uncompromising animal rights activism, which blinds him, much like Brigitte Bardot, to the misanthropic statements of such parties - the main point is that shafts are banned. On the other hand, it shows the tragic backwardness of a musician who once sang of outsiders and ambivalence and now increasingly misses the (self-) irony and falls into (age-old) self-righteousness.

Video: It's over

So a nostalgic cover album that is now released is just a logical step, but the choice of songs shows that it's not that easy to do it again with the querulous Morrissey: The 12 tracks are partly protest songs by artists who are by no means right-minded, such as Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell .

In addition, cover versions have always been an important part of Morrissey's music, most recently surprising him with successful versions of The Pretender's "Last Of The Chaingang" and Lynn Anderson's "A Rose Garden" (I Never Promised You) - well, that's what he's got really never and that hurts the (maybe nostalgic) fans, who instead of roses-scented wild-quotes currently have to struggle with thorny political statements.Betrayal and spurned love so on both sides - actually a deeply Morrisseyesker song material.

However, "California Son" is all about Morrissey's universe itself, which presents its equally disparate musical heroes from Roy Orbison through Dionne Warwick to Jobriath - the US Glam Bowie - in an eclectic song selection.

Video: Lady Willpower

Several guest stars include Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day and Ariel Engle of Broken Social Scene .But the guests are not really relevant, because Morrissey makes his own songs from the different songs. Thanks to his still distinctive voice, he masters the great art of cover art - namely to knit a new or different variant from a well-known song.

Whether he plays with his new image as an aging crooner and stages Roy Orbison's drama piece "It's Over" and plays with his sexual image on "Wedding Bell Blues": Morrissey calls for "Bill" (ie) Joe Armstrong to marry him - Gender borders do not play roles on "California Son" because he also takes on female vocal parts and attitudes.

As in the last song of the album, a powerful version of Melanie Safka's "Some Say (I Got Devil)", which states:

"Some say i got devil
Some say i got angel

(...)

And all the things that I have seen
Qualifying me for a part in your dream "

And so Morrissey wants to be seen and will probably always be seen: As a devilish angel or angelic devil whose music and lyrics is always part of many dreams - and unfortunately also nightmares.

Best,
the.legend
 
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Ketamine Sun

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I thought Morrissey was a ‘supporter of Nazis’ ? Then why does this German disagree with his views then?

;)

Kidding aside, another scumbag ‘journalist’ drumming up publicity to make a name for themselves and hopefully attract more readership by focusing mostly on Morrissey’s ‘radical’ views.
 

JoeSellMozza

Well-Known Member
I thought Morrissey was a ‘supporter of Nazis’ ? Then why does this German disagree with his views then?

;)

Kidding aside, another scumbag ‘journalist’ drumming up publicity to make a name for themselves and hopefully attract more readership by focusing mostly on Morrissey’s ‘radical’ views.

I am german and That joke isn‘t funny anymore, and never was.
Don‘t agree either that the Magazin mentioned Morrissey‘s polititcs to reach more readers. This won‘t work in Germany and it’s only an album review.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
I am german and That joke isn‘t funny anymore, and never was.
Don‘t agree either that the Magazin mentioned Morrissey‘s polititcs to reach more readers. This won‘t work in Germany and it’s only an album review.

Wasn’t really meant to be funny, more of an attempt at sarcasm. And I wish it was only an album review.
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
This reads like a fair and balanced review to me.
You can't blame journalists for bringing up the politics. Morrissey has brought that upon himself. And it is a fact that many of his Europen fans feel unconfortable with his political views and can't support à party like For Britain. We have first hand expérience with the atrocious things the far right can do once they are in power. It's a dark page in our history.
Still, the reviewer kept an open mind on the album, the possibility of actually enjoying it and she also recognizges his talent and unique voice.
Perhaps it is different for the American fans. If so, fine with me.
 
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