Morrissey Central "Rebels Without Applause" (November 25, 2022)

FRIDAY, 25 NOVEMBER, 2022 :
First 'single' release in exactly three years.

Morrissey's Rebels Without Applause is available today worldwide (including Britain) on Spotify, courtesy of Capitol Records. The track is produced by Andrew Watt.
This is Morrissey's first 'single' release since 'It's Over', taken from the 'California Son' album in November 2019. 'It's Over' peaked at number 1 in the UK vinyl chart.

Morrissey's next live appearance is on Monday, 28 November at The Anthem in Washington DC.



Just to help Central:
It's Over was released as an instant grat & pre-order bonus - February 25/26, 2019 (followed by Morning Starship - both getting airplay).
It's Over was then nightmarishly released as a physical 7" - (initially December 20, 2019) January 24, 2020.
The first actual "single" from California Son was Wedding Bell Blues 7" - May 10, 2019.
Regards,
FWD.


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SqueezingMySkull

Active Member
Thank you for responding, some of these trolls are never satisfied with anything Morrissey does, records, releases etc. IANADOAC sounds amazing. Appreciate your insight.

I resent the implication I'm a troll. I'm far more positive on here about Morrissey's releases than a lot of others and constantly praise my favorite (recent) songs of his and go on about them at length. I was heartbroken that his voice was "adjusted" or whatever, I have a background in music production and mixing and had at least fairly educated and sincere opinions on the subject and why these Morrissey vocal tracks sound drastically different than ones in even the recent past. I have zero desire whatsoever to "troll" a Morrissey message board for any possible reason. I'm a huge fan, and don't even post here often, but enjoy engaging with reasonable and interesting fans, as there's few people I can talk about new Morrissey songs with in person.

If your definition of a "troll" is "someone who has an opinion I disagree with", I don't know how you can handle being on an internet forum. And unlike tons of users here, I never start cursing people out or getting weirdly aggressive and personal, and in fact have spoken out on that sort of rude behavior in past posts.
 
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SqueezingMySkull

Active Member
Hello again,

I don’t have the time or patience to go back and forth on a Morrissey forum, so this will be my last response on the matter.

By “touched up” I mean that if there’s a word or even a syllable that sounds a hair flat or sharp in a distracting way, I’ll examine it and adjust if needed. Sometimes it sounds better, and sometimes I’ll leave it as is. I mixed this record three years ago, so I can’t remember the specifics of which line on which song. I will say this though, in my many years of mixing records in every genre; I’ve never had an artist or producer deliver lead vocal tracks that sounded so finished as the songs I mixed for Morrissey. In other words, the lead vocals sounded just amazing to my ears, and from what I can tell were usually recorded in one take with the band.

I’m sincerely sorry that you can’t listen to “IANADOAC”. I honestly don’t know what you’re hearing. I also mixed several songs on “California Son” and used, more or less, the same mixing process on the vocals. I’m not sure why you hear it on one record, but not the other.

For the record, I also don’t hear the “drenched in auto-tune” effects on “Rebels without Applause” either. I do hear a few spots where it sounds like the vocal was “stretched”, but it sounds like an artistic decision, not an accidental artifact. Anyone who follows Morrissey’s career need only look to “Bigmouth Strikes Again” to hear that artificial vocal manipulation has always been on the menu for this particular artist. I, for one, am always excited when Morrissey releases a new single, and this one doesn’t disappoint.

Well he says he won't do a back and forth, which is fine (and I'd be happy to do it privately as well) but I must respond, just for my own sanity, on a few points:

1) I consider "fixing" Morrissey's flat or sharp notes to be autotuning (perhaps I'm generalizing the term, but everyone knows what I mean.) So in that sense, I'm correct. His singing was "corrected" on this release. It sounds very obvious and unnatural to my ears, and to some others too. I also have friends not on this forum who agreed. I also have ones who don't hear it. So what can I say? At the end of the day my suspicion was correct, which is that his vocal was pitch corrected, something I personally find offensive as a Morrissey fan. Am I overreacting? You're free to have that opinion.

2)I also mixed several songs on “California Son” and used, more or less, the same mixing process on the vocals. I’m not sure why you hear it on one record, but not the other."

- This is because I do not listen to California Son, or rather, I listened to it one time. I have extremely little interest in cover songs. I am a fan of Morrissey because of his songwriting. So whether the same techniques were used or not used...I have no clue, as I have no familiarity with that release.

3) The strange vocals is very prominent in the new song during the part where much of the music drops out. Many posts here have said he sounds like a robot. Whether it's an artistic choice or not, fans are free to find it offputting and not very pleasurable to listen to. In my opinion, it's gravely hurting what could have been a lovely song. My girlfriend who is a Morrissey fan but is not an expert on these things even agreed that something is "weird" with his voice on this latest song.

4) Bigmouth Strikes Again is a totally false equivalency here. There is a world of difference between an obvious, intentionally novel vocal effect on that song and sneakily "correcting" Morrissey's vocal for not being in the perfect pitch. On my own album I made I was fiercely against auto tune, even though I'm hardly a perfect singer. But that doesn't mean I didn't put some reverb or a fun flanger or other FX on it for various reasons. My problem is the lack of authenticity and the dishonesty of autotuning an artist like Morrissey (or myself, by my own standards), not literally having any vocal effect ever. I don't know how better to explain this...but to me this is a very clear line in the sand.

All that being said, it is still not clear to me, again, why Morrissey's vocal sounds so processed and strange on IANADOAC but not on most of his other albums in recent years. Surely something must be different in the recording or mixing chain...so what is it? Some sort of bad overuse of compression? It must be SOMETHING...
 
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Eldritch

Well-Known Member
Somehow I'm not feeling this, even though live it sounded better than all other songs. Except Saint, which sounds like an instant classic. BOT will definitely not be the best M album.
 

YOR

Life is Golden
I also have friends not on this forum who agreed.
My girlfriend who is a Morrissey fan but is not an expert on these things even agreed that something is "weird" with his voice on this latest song.
On my own album I made I was fiercely against auto tune

Strong arguments you’ve got there! :)

Just kidding! I actually find the debate about autotune(or not) quite interesting!👍
 
M

Mozza's Chin

Guest
I think I've worked out the issue with Moz's vocals sounding really weird on this track. Here me out:

So, Boz co-wrote the song: usually Boz compositions were slower tempo and also his playing live (sorry Boz). This leads me to believe that when Andrew Watt and the new musicians got their hands on the demo for RWA they decided a few things: that the track had potential, but was maybe a bit sluggish and the chords a bit obvious. So...they created a wonderful jangling backing track and bass and a Smiths-like drum tempo and speeded up the track. Actually speeded it up. Trouble is, they had to time stretch Moz's vocals to fit in with the new faster arrangement. Music programs like Logic Pro on the Mac allow you to stretch out or chop vocals into different tempos, without affecting the pitch, The trouble is, squeezing the vocals like this has some weird effects: the vibrato sounds weird and insane on Moz's voice because it was originally spread out over more time, now it's squished and sounds off.

The real issue is: once the musicians had recorded this amazing new backing, Moz should've gone into the studio again and re-recorded the vocals to fit, it would've sounded absolutely brilliant and completely natural. Wouldn't have been expensive either to just lay down some vocals. As a result, you have this weird almost 'remix' of a song. A bit of a waste in my opinion. But I still do like the song.
 
H

Harmburger

Guest
I think I've worked out the issue with Moz's vocals sounding really weird on this track. Here me out:

So, Boz co-wrote the song: usually Boz compositions were slower tempo and also his playing live (sorry Boz). This leads me to believe that when Andrew Watt and the new musicians got their hands on the demo for RWA they decided a few things: that the track had potential, but was maybe a bit sluggish and the chords a bit obvious. So...they created a wonderful jangling backing track and bass and a Smiths-like drum tempo and speeded up the track. Actually speeded it up. Trouble is, they had to time stretch Moz's vocals to fit in with the new faster arrangement. Music programs like Logic Pro on the Mac allow you to stretch out or chop vocals into different tempos, without affecting the pitch, The trouble is, squeezing the vocals like this has some weird effects: the vibrato sounds weird and insane on Moz's voice because it was originally spread out over more time, now it's squished and sounds off.

The real issue is: once the musicians had recorded this amazing new backing, Moz should've gone into the studio again and re-recorded the vocals to fit, it would've sounded absolutely brilliant and completely natural. Wouldn't have been expensive either to just lay down some vocals. As a result, you have this weird almost 'remix' of a song. A bit of a waste in my opinion. But I still do like the song.

I think you may have hit on it. Someone slowed down the vocals a hair and it sounded better. This is really lazy. Morrissey thought this was good enough to release. Well, it isn't.
 

SqueezingMySkull

Active Member
I think I've worked out the issue with Moz's vocals sounding really weird on this track. Here me out:

So, Boz co-wrote the song: usually Boz compositions were slower tempo and also his playing live (sorry Boz). This leads me to believe that when Andrew Watt and the new musicians got their hands on the demo for RWA they decided a few things: that the track had potential, but was maybe a bit sluggish and the chords a bit obvious. So...they created a wonderful jangling backing track and bass and a Smiths-like drum tempo and speeded up the track. Actually speeded it up. Trouble is, they had to time stretch Moz's vocals to fit in with the new faster arrangement. Music programs like Logic Pro on the Mac allow you to stretch out or chop vocals into different tempos, without affecting the pitch, The trouble is, squeezing the vocals like this has some weird effects: the vibrato sounds weird and insane on Moz's voice because it was originally spread out over more time, now it's squished and sounds off.

This is what it sounds like. I've done tons of time stretching in Logic and the effect is similar, though I still think his vocal is mixed particularly strange (or less charitably: bad) here, just doesn't feel like he's with the band at all but some alien presence. It sounds like a whole lot is going wrong here. I wish I could understand the reasons or the thinking behind it.
 

jmb066

Active Member
I resent the implication I'm a troll. I'm far more positive on here about Morrissey's releases than a lot of others and constantly praise my favorite (recent) songs of his and go on about them at length. I was heartbroken that his voice was "adjusted" or whatever, I have a background in music production and mixing and had at least fairly educated and sincere opinions on the subject and why these Morrissey vocal tracks sound drastically different than ones in even the recent past. I have zero desire whatsoever to "troll" a Morrissey message board for any possible reason. I'm a huge fan, and don't even post here often, but enjoy engaging with reasonable and interesting fans, as there's few people I can talk about new Morrissey songs with in person.

If your definition of a "troll" is "someone who has an opinion I disagree with", I don't know how you can handle being on an internet forum. And unlike tons of users here, I never start cursing people out or getting weirdly aggressive and personal, and in fact have spoken out on that sort of rude behavior in past posts.
That was not aimed at you just some of the board in general. Now with that said this lovely gentlemen explains the process, compliments Morrissey and his singing ability. That's not good enough for you as you must be right about what you hear. Internet forums, Social Media are ridiculous at best. I come here to get information about an artist I support and love. If he disappoints I will stop buying or attending shows. That has not happened since 1986. Many bands that I used to listen to when they got to that place where I could no longer complement or support the music I stopped buying in some cases sold off the entire collection and moved on. Never did I go on message boards or Facebook and try to ruin it for everyone else. It's just my opinion anyway, who cares what I or you or anyone else thinks for that matter?
 
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Truth 25

New Member
There’s definitely something unnatural about the vocals and I noticed on the very first listen. Doesn’t seem like something Morrissey would’ve been okay with ever before. Hopefully the album version doesn’t sound as manipulated as this one.
 

SqueezingMySkull

Active Member
That was not aimed at you just some of the board in general. Now with that said this lovely gentlemen explains the process, compliments Morrissey and his singing ability. That's not good enough for you as you must be right about what you hear. Internet forums, Social Media are ridiculous at best. I come here to get information about an artist I support and love. If he disappoints I will stop buying or attending shows. That has not happened since 1986. Many bands that I used to listen to when they got to that place where I could no longer complement or support the music I stopped buying in some cases sold off the entire collection and moved on. Never did I go on message boards or Facebook and try to ruin it for everyone else. It's just my opinion anyway, who cares what I or you or anyone else thinks for that matter?

His explanation wasn't "good enough" because there wasn't one. No insight into why his voice sounds unnatural throughout the album, except that he indeed pitch corrected a few notes, which is...what I said happened! Like my whole problem is Morrissey sounds pitch corrected, and his response was in the tone of "no, how dare you say that, but yes, we pitch corrected his voice."

Again, I resent the implications here. I'm probably one of the most positive people about Morrissey on this forum. I don't post much but if you look for yourself, you'd find me defending all of his modern work and praising songs that I absolutely love. You seem to have confused me with other people here because I have issues with how his voice has been processed. Which, by the way, is no small thing. It's his VOICE.
 

YOR

Life is Golden
His explanation wasn't "good enough" because there wasn't one. No insight into why his voice sounds unnatural throughout the album, except that he indeed pitch corrected a few notes, which is...what I said happened! Like my whole problem is Morrissey sounds pitch corrected, and his response was in the tone of "no, how dare you say that, but yes, we pitch corrected his voice."

Again, I resent the implications here. I'm probably one of the most positive people about Morrissey on this forum. I don't post much but if you look for yourself, you'd find me defending all of his modern work and praising songs that I absolutely love. You seem to have confused me with other people here because I have issues with how his voice has been processed. Which, by the way, is no small thing. It's his VOICE.
You need to let this go... Yet, you just keep going...
 

goinghome

Hearts securely stacked

goinghome

Hearts securely stacked
Not familiar with this French website, but it is positive about the track. They even made an effort to translate « Bonfire of teenagers » into French, then mentioned the bonfire unlit saga.
Thank you very much, Mayfly : )
 

Mayfly

Well-Known Member
I think I've worked out the issue with Moz's vocals sounding really weird on this track. Here me out:

So, Boz co-wrote the song: usually Boz compositions were slower tempo and also his playing live (sorry Boz). This leads me to believe that when Andrew Watt and the new musicians got their hands on the demo for RWA they decided a few things: that the track had potential, but was maybe a bit sluggish and the chords a bit obvious. So...they created a wonderful jangling backing track and bass and a Smiths-like drum tempo and speeded up the track. Actually speeded it up. Trouble is, they had to time stretch Moz's vocals to fit in with the new faster arrangement. Music programs like Logic Pro on the Mac allow you to stretch out or chop vocals into different tempos, without affecting the pitch, The trouble is, squeezing the vocals like this has some weird effects: the vibrato sounds weird and insane on Moz's voice because it was originally spread out over more time, now it's squished and sounds off.

The real issue is: once the musicians had recorded this amazing new backing, Moz should've gone into the studio again and re-recorded the vocals to fit, it would've sounded absolutely brilliant and completely natural. Wouldn't have been expensive either to just lay down some vocals. As a result, you have this weird almost 'remix' of a song. A bit of a waste in my opinion. But I still do like the song.
Interesting explanation, thanks for sharing.

I just wonder why Morrissey didn’t go back to the studio to re-record his vocals. It makes me feel like the communication between Moz, the producer and the (mostly unfamiliar) musicians wasn’t very good. And that doesn’t bode well for the album, but lets wait and see.

I remember Joe C sharing some insights on the recording process for Moz albums, and it was not uncommon for Morrissey to re- record his vocals at the end when a song had taken its final shape. So it is a relief that Morrissey is returning to the more familiar recording formula: residential studio with his touring band.
 

jmb066

Active Member
I would be shocked if Morrissey did not listen to the album before releasing tracks off of it. The sad thing is most people love the track, enjoy it and stop critiquing every little thing. As Morrissey said "Don't Look, Don't Listen, Go Bake A Cake". Love it
 

BrokenFrame

Well-Known Member
I would be shocked if Morrissey did not listen to the album before releasing tracks off of it. The sad thing is most people love the track, enjoy it and stop critiquing every little thing. As Morrissey said "Don't Look, Don't Listen, Go Bake A Cake". Love it
It's baffling how the song got released in this state. What were they thinking?
 
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