"Low In High School" review by Kevin Holtmann - Plattentests.de (German, 7/10)

Friede sei mit Dir - Plattentests.de
By Kevin Holtmann

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Peace be with you (7/10)
Yeah, well, "World peace is none of your business" was the title of the last Morrissey record, but he probably does not want to believe it. Hardly a person in the proliferating pop world reports so often and vehemently on political, ethical and social issues as the former frontman of the Smiths. He sometimes broke taboos, not quite by chance, of course. His new, meanwhile eleventh solo album "Low in high school" does not even want to talk about the bush, he prefers to fall into the house with the proverbial door. Therefore, the cover also adorns a youthful rebel, who swings an ax with a blank look at the gates of Buckingham Palace and strikes a protest sign. Yeah, rather middle-subtle. And the song titles first: "Home is a question mark", "The girl from Tel Aviv who would not kneel" or "Who wants to protect us from the police?" - Morrissey uses his music once more as an outlet. Usual biting, as usual diva. But that's the way it should be.

From a musical point of view, a lot is going on on "Low in high school" anyway: There are booming beats, seemingly happy pop melodies, delicate hymns and sensational nonsense in this brief hour, that it is a great pleasure, if you like all of this. "My love, I'd do anything for you" opens the round as a dramatically staged, dynamic opener, that knows how to convince through his theatricality. Infernal strings are thick in the beginning, shortly afterwards Morrissey enters the stage of his own piece as a great Zampano, then accentuates: "Society is hell" and thus immediately sets the route for the following program. "I wish you lonely" continues word for word, a brash beat serves as the basis for Morrissey's neat criticism of pointless warmongering: "Tombs are full of fools / who gave their life on command of / monarchy, oligarch, head of state, potential." But Norwegian whalers or drug addicts all are criticized in this song, Morrissey makes no difference: Anyone who does not meet his high ethical standards, should better take cover: The "Mozzer" is just warming up.

The single "Spent the day in bed" sounds elated and cheerful only on first listen, which of course is due to the festive, quite poppy instrumentation. Beneath it, however, is the pain that Morrissey feels when he watches the news on television and is informed of all the bad news. Is he now calling for a withdrawal to private life? Does Morrissey act as a Biedermeier of the 21st century? Hardly likely. Rather, this is about a temporary switch off, an exit from the flood of images, an inner empathy. Only to be able to strike back even more biting afterwards. What he then does imediately: "I bury the living" sets off disturbing, Gezirpe, a soggy beat, then later a reduced, almost aggressively enhancing sound costume, which builds slowly over the first five minutes and then in a seemingly conciliatory trilled Coda passes.

"The girl from Tel-Aviv who would not kneel" is working on one at a tango, which breaks the political message in a strange way. On the other hand, "All the young people must fall in love" convinces with a relaxed beat, hand claps and brass and is "at the end of the day" one of the most convincing pieces on this almost confusing album. Stylistically, there is no clear theme recognizable, Morrissey interweaves a variety of influences in his sound. "Who wants to protect us from the police?" even reminds a little of "Hopelessness" by Anohni in his electronic garb. The final point is the "angry old man" with "Israel" and beats the theatrical bow to the opener with this number: Accompanied by piano and marching drums, Morrissey presents his point of view as a sung state - undiplomatic in the choice of words, dramatic in expression. 2017 is called a: Wutbürger.
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Half A Person
Very interesting! I'm quite excited to hear "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" since the reviewer compared it "Hopelessness" by Anohni, which I absolutely adore.


Very interesting! I'm quite excited to hear "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" since the reviewer compared it "Hopelessness" by Anohni, which I absolutely adore.

Yeah that is some powerful stuff Gaetano!



Girl afraid
Very interesting! I'm quite excited to hear "Who Will Protect Us From The Police?" since the reviewer compared it "Hopelessness" by Anohni, which I absolutely adore.
I'm sure in another review someone described it as one of the more rockier songs on the album. Confusing.

Famous when dead

Is there something going on we don't know about - practically every review that's surfaced has mentioned the same songs and given only the very basic bits of information or quoted snippets of lyrics that other reviews do. None have gone in depth - like a journalist might like to. If I was reviewing the album, some ambiguous references to the beat wouldn't feature. Something does not seem quite right here. I have never heard of NDA's for records, but until there's a more expansive review that actually seems like they've listened to the whole album - I'd take it with a pinch of salt.
Ever cynical,
low in high school info
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