Is Morrissey in a massive musical rut?

Peterb

Well-Known Member
It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of other Morrissey fans on this.
In my opinion he does not appear to be going anywhere. His band whilst competent are not really the top notch musicians one would love to see Moz playing with. They are a bit ploddy, clunky and at best a good covers band. I'll concede that some (but only some) great songs have come out of the partnership but wouldn't it be great to see him playing with other artists. With Moz being the senior partner there's no one to get him to hold back on his worst indulgences. The last album was awful and the recent gigs demonstrates how little the Moz has not progressed over the last 10 years.
Comparable artists such as Bowie (up until he stopped that is), Weller, Paul Simon (ie middle age performers) continue to move on and change. Moz just seems to plod on with his Southend pub band.
I wonder if it has something to do with his self-confidence that he feels he could not share a stage with better artists.
I could be wrong on this and would love to be argued out of this conviction.
PeterB.
 

MozIsGod

Active Member
Well his career is almost over anyways so there's really no point in changing now. I don't think the band is as bad as some people say, occasionally there's a few clunkers but I don't mind most of the music. It's Morrissey's lyrics which are the big problem for me, which is sad considering that he used to be one of the greats.

I completely agree about the last album. I saw many of those songs in their earlier stages on the Greatest Hits tour in 2007 and couldn't wait for the new CD. But the god-awful production and loud mastering totally ruins Years of Refusal, and because of this I rarely listen to it.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
Thanks MozIsGod for the response.
I guess you're right about his career approaching it's end although this is self imposed. I don't know why it should end, after all he's a crooner and many other singers carry on into middle age, working with new and interesting people (thinking here of Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison).
Do you think his lyrics are not so good these days?
 

peptastic

New Member
We have higher standards for Morrissey.
He's probably not going to change the Morrissey sound at this point. It's who he is. We wouldn't be fair to hold him to the exciting times of the Smiths when he was doing something new.

I agree about the R.E.M comparison.
I recall an interview Stipe did back in '99 when asked about the quality of r.e.m music slipping. He said he wasn't making young people's music anymore because he wasn't young. Early r.e.m songs were going to be more important to young people.
I haven't tried listening to the '99 period now I'm in my early thirties to see if he was right. I was scared when I turned 30 I was going to listen to Lionel Ritchie and that I was going to like it.
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
REM put out four (mostly) shitty albums -Up, Reveal, Around The Sun, and Accelerate before coming back with Collapse Into Now, the best thing they've done since 1992.

Allow Morrissey his (arguable) ruts. He's human. His shit is still better than anyone else's gold.
Really? "Up" is probably my favourite REM album. "Reveal" and "...Sun" are patchy, but interestingly produced with some excellent moments. Aside from two or three tracks "Accelerate" wasn't for me. I like bits of the new one - Walk It Back, Uberlin, Oh My Heart - but it's somewhat disjointed with some fairly weak songs mixed in there.

Anyway, as for Morrissey, Art-Hounds and Scandinavia sound rather novel to me.
 

MozIsGod

Active Member
REM put out four (mostly) shitty albums -Up, Reveal, Around The Sun, and Accelerate before coming back with Collapse Into Now, the best thing they've done since 1992.
I really like Up and think it's the last great thing they've done. I'd rather see them experiment with different things and fail miserably instead of playing it safe with stuff like Collapse into Now and continue make music which resembles their old stuff but doesn't sound anywhere near as good.
 

Peanut1971

I am Not Naturally Evil
I really don't think that Morrissey can be measured on these terms. I have followed his career pretty much from the start (of the Smiths) and it has been FULL of "scandals" and controversy; the early Smiths songs about the Moors murderers, etc. The list it endless. Musically Morrissey has been the same for a Loooong time; lets face it; he has never released a "remix" of any sort, he has always been pretty much the same since he started. That's the beauty of Morrissey. I think what John Peel said about The Fall ("Always the same, always new") pretty much applies to Morrissey as well.
 

SparkleBoy

worships Johnny Thunders
Allow Morrissey his (arguable) ruts. He's human. His shit is still better than anyone else's gold.
A "rut" means a temporary dip in productivity. In the case of Morrissey, I wouldn't call it a rut - I'd call it a slide into eternal mediocrity with an occasional decent tune.
 

MozIsGod

Active Member
A "rut" means a temporary dip in productivity. In the case of Morrissey, I wouldn't call it a rut - I'd call it a slide into eternal mediocrity with an occasional decent tune.
It's people like you which resulted in Morrissey wearing a "f*** Morrissey-solo" t-shirt. You just can't bow down and love everything he does now, can you? ;)
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
A "rut" means a temporary dip in productivity. In the case of Morrissey, I wouldn't call it a rut - I'd call it a slide into eternal mediocrity with an occasional decent tune.
Hey SparkleBoy, as much I hate to say it, I agree with you. The problem is that I think he is a great artist and even amidst the mediocrity you can occasionally see that. So naturally one would love to see him perform some great music. I think at the bottom of all this is the regrettable fact that, great singer that he is, he is the most enormous tosser.
 

Mozza220559

Surmontil 50
I really don't think that Morrissey can be measured on these terms. I have followed his career pretty much from the start (of the Smiths) and it has been FULL of "scandals" and controversy; the early Smiths songs about the Moors murderers, etc. The list it endless. Musically Morrissey has been the same for a Loooong time; lets face it; he has never released a "remix" of any sort, he has always been pretty much the same since he started. That's the beauty of Morrissey. I think what John Peel said about The Fall ("Always the same, always new") pretty much applies to Morrissey as well.
Yeah but The Fall always remain original and never look back after a previous album but still remain fresh and new and hard, I think this is down to Marks management of the group and the fact the band sound fresh and tight. Morrissey has literally been the same the past 10 years
 

Mr Reynolds

Active Member
I like the narrow musical furrow Moz ploughs. I wouldn't want him to change. Within that narrow furrow there is much variation in nuance.

Lets face it, no one listens to Morrissey for musical originality or cutting edge boundary pushing. And I suspect that ironically there lies the key to part of his longevity and success.
 
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King Leer

Leering since '97
Love the way this was worded and agree 100% with it.
I think Moz very occasionally ventures into more somewhat experimental/offbeat territory with the likes of Pigsty, Sweetie-Pie, You Were Good... but without Alain (or some new collaborators) around there'll probably be less of that. If Boz could really get his Vauxhall mojo back I'd be happy. He flirts with it once in a while.

I like the narrow musical furrow Moz ploughs. I wouldn't want him to change. Within that narrow furrow there is much variation in nuance.

Lets face it, no one listens to Morrissey for musical originality or cutting edge boundary pushing. And I suspect that ironically there lies the key to part of his longevity and success.
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
I think the three comeback albums are on a par with the rest of his best solo records - namely Vauxhall and Your Arsenal.

The two new songs "Scandinavia" and "Arts-Hounds" strike me as something a little different and a very promising direction.
 

Mr Reynolds

Active Member
Mark E Smith dons a pair of waxed wings and takes flight every so often - when he's maybe feeling a bit bored and the mood takes him - and he makes a bee line straight for the Sun. Mostly his wings melt away and he crashes back down into a Manchester reservoir to try again next time. But occasionally...just OCCASIONALLY... Mark E Smith manages to grab a handful of Heavenly Fire and hauls it back down for us to glory in. What a grafter. Thank you Mark. Thank you.
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
I think the three comeback albums are on a par with the rest of his best solo records - namely Vauxhall and Your Arsenal.

The two new songs "Scandinavia" and "Arts-Hounds" strike me as something a little different and a very promising direction.
Hi Orson Swells. Good optimistic post. I don't know these songs yet but your opinion bodes well.
 

whymozwhy

New Member
It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of other Morrissey fans on this.
In my opinion he does not appear to be going anywhere. His band whilst competent are not really the top notch musicians one would love to see Moz playing with. They are a bit ploddy, clunky and at best a good covers band. I'll concede that some (but only some) great songs have come out of the partnership but wouldn't it be great to see him playing with other artists. With Moz being the senior partner there's no one to get him to hold back on his worst indulgences. The last album was awful and the recent gigs demonstrates how little the Moz has not progressed over the last 10 years.
Comparable artists such as Bowie (up until he stopped that is), Weller, Paul Simon (ie middle age performers) continue to move on and change. Moz just seems to plod on with his Southend pub band.
I wonder if it has something to do with his self-confidence that he feels he could not share a stage with better artists.
I could be wrong on this and would love to be argued out of this conviction.
PeterB.
I'll jump in (1st post).

I think his band is great. I think they are great players and they sound great together. He's always had great musicians around him. I think they support him very well. Actually, I think he's quite brilliant in the way he puts his bands together. Unique. Typical Morrissey.

He's done so many shows over decades. He can play out or not. Again, he doesn't owe anyone anything as far as live performance goes.

His recorded body of work is amazing. He's done so much more than so many others who have come and gone. He owes the world nothing. He can put out whatever he wants.

The irony is that Morrissey is the anti-pop star and yet the consumate pop star.

But really it's his music that makes him important. He's made so much great music over the years (decades) live and recorded.

I guess I'm saying there's nothing to say about it.

We're lucky to have had him. I hope he keeps playing and doing whatever he pleases. He's earned it many, many times over.

thx
 

Peterb

Well-Known Member
I'll jump in (1st post).

I think his band is great. I think they are great players and they sound great together. He's always had great musicians around him. I think they support him very well. Actually, I think he's quite brilliant in the way he puts his bands together. Unique. Typical Morrissey.

He's done so many shows over decades. He can play out or not. Again, he doesn't owe anyone anything as far as live performance goes.

His recorded body of work is amazing. He's done so much more than so many others who have come and gone. He owes the world nothing. He can put out whatever he wants.

The irony is that Morrissey is the anti-pop star and yet the consumate pop star.

But really it's his music that makes him important. He's made so much great music over the years (decades) live and recorded.

I guess I'm saying there's nothing to say about it.

We're lucky to have had him. I hope he keeps playing and doing whatever he pleases. He's earned it many, many times over.

thx
Hi Whymozwhy. I guess, if you like all the albums and all the songs on those albums then thats fair enough. My position, for what it's worth, is that whilst I love his voice and really like, on average, only 2 or 3 songs per album, feel that it's a real shame the bulk of his materiel is terribly pedestrian and this is a shame.
You say that you like all his work. You also say that stuff like he does not owe the world anything. You must admit that this sounds like a ready made excuse for producing sub-standard music. I would disagree. If you are an artist, surely you owe it to your fan base (and yourself) to produce the very best that you are capable of.
But I'm sure we'd agree on more than we disagree. I like his stuff enough to continue buying the albums (rare as they are). I even listen to Years of Refusal now and then, which is a real dud!
 

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