I'm afraid I disagree regarding 'Please, Please, Please' Let Me Get What I Want'. Janice Long played The Smiths version just last night and it sounded as sublime as ever, but as it played I thought to myself that the recent Morrissey lyric tweek was only a matter of coming clean. The song is basically about having who he wants, it always was. Youthful Moz was just a tad more reserved. One could say more subtle or romantic, windswept, interesting, etcetera. But as a fifty year old human being perhaps he just thought 'f*** it, say it as I see it'.
Rather than finding it clumsy, I found the recent live version to be all the more poignant because of the comparison with the original. In the sense of a fifty year old man conversing with his twenty five year old self. I certainly didn't think 'why are you murdering this?' The voice singing the words was more beautiful than it had ever been.
As to the wider point, I find a different kind of poetry in the starkness of matureMoz lyricism. The poetry inherent in a man in the autumn of his years facing down some uncomfortable truths, dispensing with subtlety and writing boldly, and, more so than ever, singing as if his life depended on it. Would you really want him to be writing in the same lyrical style as his 25 year old version of himself? And part of the enduring appeal of Morrissey, to me, is his continual converstaion with his skinnymalink former lyrical self. Each shift and manoeuvre in style reflects back on his earlier work and says something new and fascinating about the artist.
Or maybe I'm just a bitter old scrote too