"Low In High School" reviews (Pitchfork, God Is In The TV, Daily Californian, Bob Stei)

"Low In High School" review by Sam Sodomsky (5.7 / 10) - Pitchfork. Link posted by BrummieBoy (original post).

"Low In High School" review by Tim Russell - God Is In The TV. Link posted by Billbones80 (original post).

Morrissey capitalizes on political controversy distastefully in new album ‘Low in High School’ by Maisy Menzies (Grade: N/A) - The Daily Californian. Link posted by BrummieBoy (original post).
Editor’s Note: The Daily Californian recognizes that a numerical grading system cannot always account for the problematic history of the artists whose work we are grading. Given the harm caused by this artist, this critic has decided not to give this album a grade.

"Low In High School" review by radio personality Bob Stei. Link from an anonymous person.


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Comments

A

Anonymous

Guest
"A few songs are some of Morrissey’s most engaging, exciting work of the 21st century."

Well, sometimes it's BEST to cherry-pick sentences. I know the music press has taken a hit in recent years BUT the music press seems to be SO devoid of talent. I can now back this up with evidence: Taylor Swift's latest album review got 3 stars in a review revently. Not from Pitchfork though. But, I mean, come on. Exactly !


Hazard
x
 
P

pleroma

Guest
It´s always funny how critics raise themselves above an artist. Perhaps they don´t know that they are just critics? And it´s not even, or necessarily a mutual efficient.
 

marred

Member
Bob Sodomsky: "Though the music is often engaging and exciting, Low in High School is Morrissey’s second consecutive release that feels regrettably tethered to his increasingly alienating public persona."

- He says this like it's a bad thing.
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
Bob Sodomsky: "Though the music is often engaging and exciting, Low in High School is Morrissey’s second consecutive release that feels regrettably tethered to his increasingly alienating public persona."

- He says this like it's a bad thing.
'Sodomsky' ? really? please tell me that's his nom de plume and not his real name.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Given the harm caused by this artist,this critic has decided not to give this album a grade. WTF .
Harm caused by this artist? I bet Chris Brown and other artists who really cause harm, physically, to people aren't treated the same. Ridiculous.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey's new record is simply an amazing piece of art. I say this not only as a long time Mozzer fan, but as a working musician. I can't remember the last time I have felt so passionately about a record. I'm a huge Johnny Marr and Alain Whyte fan, but his current band, along with the stunning production by Joe Chiccarelli, have delivered something truly adventurous and epic. I have only ever commented on here once before, but I've read so many things lately that seem to get this record so wrong that I feel the need to again. I'm not even sure where to begin.

To make a record that sounds like this isn't easy. In fact, it's rarely done in modern times. This record has the decadent swagger of something out of the 70's, while also being modern enough that it feels fresh and alive and of the now. The dark brass of Lou Reed's Berlin, the synth squelches of Nico's The End, and the dramatic glam rock of Bowie all swirl together. But drums never sounded that big and powerful back then. There are also sounds from various global destinations and modern editing and manipulation at play. The mix is clear and yet warm. Everything sounds gigantic while still having space. Whoever mixed and mastered this record knows what the f*** they are doing. It sounds incredible on headphones. It's f***ing cinematic as hell!

The lyrics are somewhere between the poeticism of Ringleader and the blunt clarity of Quarry. When is the last time that anyone wrote lyrics that seemed to make so many people uncomfortable? That in itself is an achievement. This truly does feel like the work of someone that came up during the punk era, but never felt the need to abandon its confrontational outlook. That being said there is a lot more complexity and humanity than most people are giving him credit for.

The song that seems to give most people pause is Israel. I am against the occupation. However, anyone that thinks Morrissey is giving a blank check to the state of Israel simply hasn't read the lyrics to that song, nor viewed them through the context of the record as a whole. More than any other album Morrissey takes on military, security, and police forces. I'm an American that was against Bush's Iraq invasion. How dearly I wished at the time that others would see that it was our government and those that supported it, and not our people as a whole that created that situation. I voted against Bush twice, but that didn't stop the Iraq War from happening. Morrissey's outlook is actually extremely intelligent. He is not judging the people of an entire country by what their government is doing. That being said, I don't think the song Israel is that simple. The name Israel means roughly, "He who struggles with God." If it weren't for other songs dealing with Tel Aviv, I probably wouldn't think the lyrics of Israel had very little to do with the state of Israel at all. Even now, however, I think that they are more inspired by visiting their and the feelings he had while being there, than actually the state itself. The lyrics have more to do with the repression that comes from religion than any kind of expressly current political situation. Three of the worlds major religions come from that place, and they have helped pave the way to an earth that is an asylum for those that are outsiders in society. Israel and Jerusalem have also been used by poets throughout the ages to tackle big topics. I can't help but feel that Morrissey is using his experience there to talk about the topics that have always been near to his heart.

Also with I Bury the Living, Morrissey seems to be updating Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier. You may not agree with the viewpoint of either, but it's a debate worth having. Are those that carry out violent orders culpable or not?

........................

There is so much more to say about this magnificent record, but I'll leave it there. Forget about the headlines, the reviews, and actually listen and think about this record. It's an amazing piece of art that I think will speak to us in the years ahead, every bit as much as it does now. Most people just can't seem to see it outside the narrow political climate of today.

..................

There are two other things I want to add to the discussions that have been going on in general:

1. As someone that has given interviews, I can say beyond a doubt that reporters almost never quote exactly what you have said. You combine that with a german translation and google translate and one can imagine how different what he actually said might be from what people are reading. Even if he did say exactly what he said in the German interview, I think we should at least view those comments in the context of his art and life as a whole. Morrissey's political views aren't always crystal clear, but I think it is pretty clear that he is disgusted by violence upon the innocent.

2. The Morrissey is a racist thing is so f***ing tired. His album is dedicated to Dick Gregory. His band is half Mexican. The kid on his cover is Mexican. Morrissey paid tribute to Istanbul, albeit in his usual backwards way. (I always took his line about Pittsburg from Ringleaders to be a wink towards his fans there with his usual dark humor.) Morrissey clearly, from his autobiography, loves his fans from all over the world. He has, however, criticized different cultural and religious beliefs. This is not the same thing as race. Race is something you are born with, that you have no decision in. Religion and culture are things one can leave behind, in the same way that Morrissey is a lapsed Catholic. It's fine to disagree with him on this, but don't confuse one with the other.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Morrissey's new record is simply an amazing piece of art. I say this not only as a long time Mozzer fan, but as a working musician. I can't remember the last time I have felt so passionately about a record. I'm a huge Johnny Marr and Alain Whyte fan, but his current band, along with the stunning production by Joe Chiccarelli, have delivered something truly adventurous and epic. I have only ever commented on here once before, but I've read so many things lately that seem to get this record so wrong that I feel the need to again. I'm not even sure where to begin.

To make a record that sounds like this isn't easy. In fact, it's rarely done in modern times. This record has the decadent swagger of something out of the 70's, while also being modern enough that it feels fresh and alive and of the now. The dark brass of Lou Reed's Berlin, the synth squelches of Nico's The End, and the dramatic glam rock of Bowie all swirl together. But drums never sounded that big and powerful back then. There are also sounds from various global destinations and modern editing and manipulation at play. The mix is clear and yet warm. Everything sounds gigantic while still having space. Whoever mixed and mastered this record knows what the f*** they are doing. It sounds incredible on headphones. It's f***ing cinematic as hell!

The lyrics are somewhere between the poeticism of Ringleader and the blunt clarity of Quarry. When is the last time that anyone wrote lyrics that seemed to make so many people uncomfortable? That in itself is an achievement. This truly does feel like the work of someone that came up during the punk era, but never felt the need to abandon its confrontational outlook. That being said there is a lot more complexity and humanity than most people are giving him credit for.

The song that seems to give most people pause is Israel. I am against the occupation. However, anyone that thinks Morrissey is giving a blank check to the state of Israel simply hasn't read the lyrics to that song, nor viewed them through the context of the record as a whole. More than any other album Morrissey takes on military, security, and police forces. I'm an American that was against Bush's Iraq invasion. How dearly I wished at the time that others would see that it was our government and those that supported it, and not our people as a whole that created that situation. I voted against Bush twice, but that didn't stop the Iraq War from happening. Morrissey's outlook is actually extremely intelligent. He is not judging the people of an entire country by what their government is doing. That being said, I don't think the song Israel is that simple. The name Israel means roughly, "He who struggles with God." If it weren't for other songs dealing with Tel Aviv, I probably wouldn't think the lyrics of Israel had very little to do with the state of Israel at all. Even now, however, I think that they are more inspired by visiting their and the feelings he had while being there, than actually the state itself. The lyrics have more to do with the repression that comes from religion than any kind of expressly current political situation. Three of the worlds major religions come from that place, and they have helped pave the way to an earth that is an asylum for those that are outsiders in society. Israel and Jerusalem have also been used by poets throughout the ages to tackle big topics. I can't help but feel that Morrissey is using his experience there to talk about the topics that have always been near to his heart.

Also with I Bury the Living, Morrissey seems to be updating Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier. You may not agree with the viewpoint of either, but it's a debate worth having. Are those that carry out violent orders culpable or not?

........................

There is so much more to say about this magnificent record, but I'll leave it there. Forget about the headlines, the reviews, and actually listen and think about this record. It's an amazing piece of art that I think will speak to us in the years ahead, every bit as much as it does now. Most people just can't seem to see it outside the narrow political climate of today.

..................

There are two other things I want to add to the discussions that have been going on in general:

1. As someone that has given interviews, I can say beyond a doubt that reporters almost never quote exactly what you have said. You combine that with a german translation and google translate and one can imagine how different what he actually said might be from what people are reading. Even if he did say exactly what he said in the German interview, I think we should at least view those comments in the context of his art and life as a whole. Morrissey's political views aren't always crystal clear, but I think it is pretty clear that he is disgusted by violence upon the innocent.

2. The Morrissey is a racist thing is so f***ing tired. His album is dedicated to Dick Gregory. His band is half Mexican. The kid on his cover is Mexican. Morrissey paid tribute to Istanbul, albeit in his usual backwards way. (I always took his line about Pittsburg from Ringleaders to be a wink towards his fans there with his usual dark humor.) Morrissey clearly, from his autobiography, loves his fans from all over the world. He has, however, criticized different cultural and religious beliefs. This is not the same thing as race. Race is something you are born with, that you have no decision in. Religion and culture are things one can leave behind, in the same way that Morrissey is a lapsed Catholic. It's fine to disagree with him on this, but don't confuse one with the other.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
On your last 2 paragraphs:

1) That MUST be it. Do you see Morrissey and his people rushing to put out quotes saying they're off to the lawyers for misrepresentation? Don't be daft. The truth is what you read, and you don't like it - I get that.

2) Are the Chinese not a race?

On your overall post - I'm glad you like the album. Metacritic shows its as his worst ever...

http://www.metacritic.com/music/low-in-high-school/morrissey
 

King Leer

Leering since '97
Pitchfork might rate Low... 5.7 but damned if it doesn't make it out to be a fascinating album musically and thematically.
Pissing people off left and right -- this is Morrissey's punk album after all.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
On your last 2 paragraphs:

1) That MUST be it. Do you see Morrissey and his people rushing to put out quotes saying they're off to the lawyers for misrepresentation? Don't be daft. The truth is what you read, and you don't like it - I get that.

2) Are the Chinese not a race?

On your overall post - I'm glad you like the album. Metacritic shows its as his worst ever...

http://www.metacritic.com/music/low-in-high-school/morrissey
That’s stretching it a little, given that only a few of his studio albums are represented on Meta Critic: http://www.metacritic.com/person/morrissey?filter-options=music
But...that’s typical Skinny.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
On your last 2 paragraphs:

1) That MUST be it. Do you see Morrissey and his people rushing to put out quotes saying they're off to the lawyers for misrepresentation? Don't be daft. The truth is what you read, and you don't like it - I get that.

2) Are the Chinese not a race?

On your overall post - I'm glad you like the album. Metacritic shows its as his worst ever...

http://www.metacritic.com/music/low-in-high-school/morrissey
Pretty much every scientist in the world agrees that there is no such thing as 'race'. Do your homework.

The Chinese are a nation.

If every public comment is going to be judged against every 'ist' and 'phobic' going (and the list expands every day) then no one will be able to say anything about anything.

Metacritic shows it's his worst ever - so it must be...I would rather have a mind of my own.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey's new record is simply an amazing piece of art. I say this not only as a long time Mozzer fan, but as a working musician. I can't remember the last time I have felt so passionately about a record. I'm a huge Johnny Marr and Alain Whyte fan, but his current band, along with the stunning production by Joe Chiccarelli, have delivered something truly adventurous and epic. I have only ever commented on here once before, but I've read so many things lately that seem to get this record so wrong that I feel the need to again. I'm not even sure where to begin.

To make a record that sounds like this isn't easy. In fact, it's rarely done in modern times. This record has the decadent swagger of something out of the 70's, while also being modern enough that it feels fresh and alive and of the now. The dark brass of Lou Reed's Berlin, the synth squelches of Nico's The End, and the dramatic glam rock of Bowie all swirl together. But drums never sounded that big and powerful back then. There are also sounds from various global destinations and modern editing and manipulation at play. The mix is clear and yet warm. Everything sounds gigantic while still having space. Whoever mixed and mastered this record knows what the f*** they are doing. It sounds incredible on headphones. It's f***ing cinematic as hell!

The lyrics are somewhere between the poeticism of Ringleader and the blunt clarity of Quarry. When is the last time that anyone wrote lyrics that seemed to make so many people uncomfortable? That in itself is an achievement. This truly does feel like the work of someone that came up during the punk era, but never felt the need to abandon its confrontational outlook. That being said there is a lot more complexity and humanity than most people are giving him credit for.

The song that seems to give most people pause is Israel. I am against the occupation. However, anyone that thinks Morrissey is giving a blank check to the state of Israel simply hasn't read the lyrics to that song, nor viewed them through the context of the record as a whole. More than any other album Morrissey takes on military, security, and police forces. I'm an American that was against Bush's Iraq invasion. How dearly I wished at the time that others would see that it was our government and those that supported it, and not our people as a whole that created that situation. I voted against Bush twice, but that didn't stop the Iraq War from happening. Morrissey's outlook is actually extremely intelligent. He is not judging the people of an entire country by what their government is doing. That being said, I don't think the song Israel is that simple. The name Israel means roughly, "He who struggles with God." If it weren't for other songs dealing with Tel Aviv, I probably wouldn't think the lyrics of Israel had very little to do with the state of Israel at all. Even now, however, I think that they are more inspired by visiting their and the feelings he had while being there, than actually the state itself. The lyrics have more to do with the repression that comes from religion than any kind of expressly current political situation. Three of the worlds major religions come from that place, and they have helped pave the way to an earth that is an asylum for those that are outsiders in society. Israel and Jerusalem have also been used by poets throughout the ages to tackle big topics. I can't help but feel that Morrissey is using his experience there to talk about the topics that have always been near to his heart.

Also with I Bury the Living, Morrissey seems to be updating Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier. You may not agree with the viewpoint of either, but it's a debate worth having. Are those that carry out violent orders culpable or not?

........................

There is so much more to say about this magnificent record, but I'll leave it there. Forget about the headlines, the reviews, and actually listen and think about this record. It's an amazing piece of art that I think will speak to us in the years ahead, every bit as much as it does now. Most people just can't seem to see it outside the narrow political climate of today.

..................

There are two other things I want to add to the discussions that have been going on in general:

1. As someone that has given interviews, I can say beyond a doubt that reporters almost never quote exactly what you have said. You combine that with a german translation and google translate and one can imagine how different what he actually said might be from what people are reading. Even if he did say exactly what he said in the German interview, I think we should at least view those comments in the context of his art and life as a whole. Morrissey's political views aren't always crystal clear, but I think it is pretty clear that he is disgusted by violence upon the innocent.

2. The Morrissey is a racist thing is so f***ing tired. His album is dedicated to Dick Gregory. His band is half Mexican. The kid on his cover is Mexican. Morrissey paid tribute to Istanbul, albeit in his usual backwards way. (I always took his line about Pittsburg from Ringleaders to be a wink towards his fans there with his usual dark humor.) Morrissey clearly, from his autobiography, loves his fans from all over the world. He has, however, criticized different cultural and religious beliefs. This is not the same thing as race. Race is something you are born with, that you have no decision in. Religion and culture are things one can leave behind, in the same way that Morrissey is a lapsed Catholic. It's fine to disagree with him on this, but don't confuse one with the other.
Great review. I think it is a masterpiece. Totally spot on about it feeling like a proper 70s album where you don't quite know which direction it's going to go next.
I rate it almost as high as The Queen Is Dead.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Morrissey's new record is simply an amazing piece of art. I say this not only as a long time Mozzer fan, but as a working musician. I can't remember the last time I have felt so passionately about a record. I'm a huge Johnny Marr and Alain Whyte fan, but his current band, along with the stunning production by Joe Chiccarelli, have delivered something truly adventurous and epic. I have only ever commented on here once before, but I've read so many things lately that seem to get this record so wrong that I feel the need to again. I'm not even sure where to begin.

To make a record that sounds like this isn't easy. In fact, it's rarely done in modern times. This record has the decadent swagger of something out of the 70's, while also being modern enough that it feels fresh and alive and of the now. The dark brass of Lou Reed's Berlin, the synth squelches of Nico's The End, and the dramatic glam rock of Bowie all swirl together. But drums never sounded that big and powerful back then. There are also sounds from various global destinations and modern editing and manipulation at play. The mix is clear and yet warm. Everything sounds gigantic while still having space. Whoever mixed and mastered this record knows what the f*** they are doing. It sounds incredible on headphones. It's f***ing cinematic as hell!

The lyrics are somewhere between the poeticism of Ringleader and the blunt clarity of Quarry. When is the last time that anyone wrote lyrics that seemed to make so many people uncomfortable? That in itself is an achievement. This truly does feel like the work of someone that came up during the punk era, but never felt the need to abandon its confrontational outlook. That being said there is a lot more complexity and humanity than most people are giving him credit for.

The song that seems to give most people pause is Israel. I am against the occupation. However, anyone that thinks Morrissey is giving a blank check to the state of Israel simply hasn't read the lyrics to that song, nor viewed them through the context of the record as a whole. More than any other album Morrissey takes on military, security, and police forces. I'm an American that was against Bush's Iraq invasion. How dearly I wished at the time that others would see that it was our government and those that supported it, and not our people as a whole that created that situation. I voted against Bush twice, but that didn't stop the Iraq War from happening. Morrissey's outlook is actually extremely intelligent. He is not judging the people of an entire country by what their government is doing. That being said, I don't think the song Israel is that simple. The name Israel means roughly, "He who struggles with God." If it weren't for other songs dealing with Tel Aviv, I probably wouldn't think the lyrics of Israel had very little to do with the state of Israel at all. Even now, however, I think that they are more inspired by visiting their and the feelings he had while being there, than actually the state itself. The lyrics have more to do with the repression that comes from religion than any kind of expressly current political situation. Three of the worlds major religions come from that place, and they have helped pave the way to an earth that is an asylum for those that are outsiders in society. Israel and Jerusalem have also been used by poets throughout the ages to tackle big topics. I can't help but feel that Morrissey is using his experience there to talk about the topics that have always been near to his heart.

Also with I Bury the Living, Morrissey seems to be updating Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier. You may not agree with the viewpoint of either, but it's a debate worth having. Are those that carry out violent orders culpable or not?

........................

There is so much more to say about this magnificent record, but I'll leave it there. Forget about the headlines, the reviews, and actually listen and think about this record. It's an amazing piece of art that I think will speak to us in the years ahead, every bit as much as it does now. Most people just can't seem to see it outside the narrow political climate of today.

..................

There are two other things I want to add to the discussions that have been going on in general:

1. As someone that has given interviews, I can say beyond a doubt that reporters almost never quote exactly what you have said. You combine that with a german translation and google translate and one can imagine how different what he actually said might be from what people are reading. Even if he did say exactly what he said in the German interview, I think we should at least view those comments in the context of his art and life as a whole. Morrissey's political views aren't always crystal clear, but I think it is pretty clear that he is disgusted by violence upon the innocent.

2. The Morrissey is a racist thing is so f***ing tired. His album is dedicated to Dick Gregory. His band is half Mexican. The kid on his cover is Mexican. Morrissey paid tribute to Istanbul, albeit in his usual backwards way. (I always took his line about Pittsburg from Ringleaders to be a wink towards his fans there with his usual dark humor.) Morrissey clearly, from his autobiography, loves his fans from all over the world. He has, however, criticized different cultural and religious beliefs. This is not the same thing as race. Race is something you are born with, that you have no decision in. Religion and culture are things one can leave behind, in the same way that Morrissey is a lapsed Catholic. It's fine to disagree with him on this, but don't confuse one with the other.

Probably one of the best posts I have read on solow for a very long time.

Ignore people like Uncle Skinhead, he's just a crank who believes that only his view is sacred and uses solo as his mouthpiece.
I mean he doesn't even like Morrissey, yet spends the majority of his spare time on a Morrissey fan website. That doesn't quite add up....
 

bhops

Last of the famous international screw ups.
That’s stretching it a little, given that only a few of his studio albums are represented on Meta Critic: http://www.metacritic.com/person/morrissey?filter-options=music
But...that’s typical Skinny.
This is typical Uncle Skinny he is soooooo butthurt that anyone might like the new album he has to make the dig about metacritic, as though as much as you might like Low In high School you are wrong because Metacritic says so. Honestly it's like the emotional response of a 4 year old, 'you might like it but everyone else doesn't so nah nah nah.'

Metaf***wit says that You Are the Quarry is vastly superior to Low In High School. Well not to my ears it isn't, I MUCH prefer the latter and as it is MY stereo in MY home (I turn the music down and I don't know why this my house!) I'll play what I damn well please and thank the Lord that Metaf***wit doesn't get to make the decision for me.
 

ninetimesfined

Well-Known Member
The Daily Californian’s review and its authors decision not to grade the album reads like a parody article.

The author cynically implies that a song like ‘Girl from Tel Aviv’ is only on the album to throw people off some sort of racist scent. What a load of crap.

Despite comments from Moz they many think are misguided, surely this should be about the music rather than the personally held views of the artist.
 
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