"This once charming man" - Birmingham review by Kitty Empire - The Observer (UK)

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I think that’s a good review, I attended the Birmingham gig and felt the set was ok. The new songs were delivered well and I thought they came across live far better than they did on the album and a handful of them got a small cheer at the opening bars.

However he can do two things to reverse the suggested decline, 1, keep his mouth shut and 2, announce a greatest hits tour, which would sell out in no time at all.
 
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Peppermint

Well-Known Member
I think that’s a good review, I attended the Birmingham gig and felt the set was ok. The new songs were well delivered well and I thought they came across live far better than they did on the album and a handful of them got a small cheer at the opening bars.

However he can do two things to reverse the suggested decline, 1, keep his mouth shut and 2, announce a greatest hits tour, which would sell out in no time at all.
3. Sack his band 4. Seek out new musicians with skill and creative spark - either as a new band or a series of collaborations with different artists
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
3. Sack his band 4. Seek out new musicians with skill and creative spark - either as a new band or a series of collaborations with different artists
To be fair, pretty much every review I read of the album praised the music.

And people have been saying that Morrissey should sack his backing band since 1991 and probably before...
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
To be fair, pretty much every review I read of the album praised the music.

And people have been saying that Morrissey should sack his backing band since 1991 and probably before...
Not sure which reviews you've been reading, but the ones I saw were a pretty mixed bag. And I don't think I can recall a time when quite so many fans were critical of his band, and in particular his guitarist.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Not sure which reviews you've been reading, but the ones I saw were a pretty mixed bag. And I don't think I can recall a time when quite so many fans were critical of his band, and in particular his guitarist.
The reviews of the album were certainly a mixed bag, but the comments on the music were generally positive.

Sure, many fans dislike Jesse's contributions. Sacking the entire band seems excessive though...
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
The reviews of the album were certainly a mixed bag, but the comments on the music were generally positive.

Sure, many fans dislike Jesse's contributions. Sacking the entire band seems excessive though...
Jesse aside, I think it's got incredibly stale and they've gone down a musical cul-de-sac. I would like to see it freshened up with a new line-up, with new ideas that will challenge him musically and personally. I find many of Boz's arrangements of old favourites turgid and he looks bored to me. Shake it up, and maybe he could yet have one last Vauxhall in him.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Honestly, do you have "Morrissey" on google alert?
Bonus round question.
When the news is negative does it remind you of when you used to enjoy life?
I buy The Observer every week, you joyless fuckknuckle. Now fuck off and find another reason to keep breathing. And I have a great life. Made much more fun by goading brainless turds like you.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
Jesse aside, I think it's got incredibly stale and they've gone down a musical cul-de-sac. I would like to see it freshened up with a new line-up, with new ideas that will challenge him musically and personally. I find many of Boz's arrangements of old favourites turgid and he looks bored to me. Shake it up, and maybe he could yet have one last Vauxhall in him.
Well I respect your opinion, but I would say that he has shaken things up. Lopez and Manzur are both fairly recent additions and have added to the songwriting team at any rate.

And I really can't see Morrissey being able to turn the clock back 24 years now. If he couldn't come close to matching Vauxhall in 1995 and 1997, I doubt he will now.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Well I respect your opinion, but I would say that he has shaken things up. Lopez and Manzur are both fairly recent additions and have added to the songwriting team at any rate.

And I really can't see Morrissey being able to turn the clock back 24 years now. If he couldn't come close to matching Vauxhall in 1995 and 1997, I doubt he will now.
Ah, but I can hope :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
3. Sack his band 4. Seek out new musicians with skill and creative spark - either as a new band or a series of collaborations with different artists
We've obviously all got our own take on things but the critical consensus for the new album was great music, crap lyrics.
Boorer and Tobias combined contributed just 50% of the songs. That's a huge shake up.
Several of the songs have very little (or even no) guitar. That's unheard of on a Morrissey/Smiths album.
He has shaken things up massively, musically, since the largely awful 1995-2010 chug-rock era. The lyrics have become the key problem, often ruining a great piece of music. If any change to personnel is needed, it's a new lyricist.
 

Bluebirds

Well-Known Member
Sorry but that review reads more like a character assassination than review of the gig.

If you boil it down to the actual review of the actual gig it seems she thought it was quite good.

But like a lot of other people who have become disenfranchised with Morrissey due to his later material and Tourette's like outbursts it's all about her.

Nothing as objective as a lover spurned
 

Charlie Cheswick

Well-Known Member
3. Sack his band 4. Seek out new musicians with skill and creative spark - either as a new band or a series of collaborations with different artists
Finally this is the answer. As a solo artist his reputation is pretty fucked, not so much cause of the music but because of his gob. A slight rebranding by forming a proper band with a name, not a stageful of strays that you'd struggle to count, would probably set him straight.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I know that “sack the band” was a mantra for a while, but I’m not sure it would fix much these days. Morrissey knows their limitations – Jesse’s ham-fistedness is a running joke, Boz always looks bored to tears – but I think he goes through musical “obsessions” and can’t be swayed. “Glam” was one, the thrashy, Smiths-murdering “Jesse era” was another, and then he went all flamenco. Some of his recent music is quite interesting, but the lyrics are weaker and weaker. It’s like the Morrissey machine is on autopilot.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
We've obviously all got our own take on things but the critical consensus for the new album was great music, crap lyrics.
Boorer and Tobias combined contributed just 50% of the songs. That's a huge shake up.
Several of the songs have very little (or even no) guitar. That's unheard of on a Morrissey/Smiths album.
He has shaken things up massively, musically, since the largely awful 1995-2010 chug-rock era. The lyrics have become the key problem, often ruining a great piece of music. If any change to personnel is needed, it's a new lyricist.
I could happily run with that argument if I could think of a song on LIHS that had great music which was only let down by the lyrics, but alas, I cannnot. That's not to say I didn't like any of it - I thought Spent, Israel, Tel Aviv and In Your Lap, in particular, were good songs and all had at least some lyrics which made me think, ah yes, he's still got it (in among the clunkers). My hope is that a new group of musicians, who would challenge him more, would inspire him lyrically because it seems to me he's got lazy and thinks churning out his tiresome political dogma counts as edgy and original.
 

Peppermint

Well-Known Member
Finally this is the answer. As a solo artist his reputation is pretty fucked, not so much cause of the music but because of his gob. A slight rebranding by forming a proper band with a name, not a stageful of strays that you'd struggle to count, would probably set him straight.
It's an interesting idea, CC, but I cannot see it happening, for the same reason I cannot ever see him hooking up with Johnny Marr, or even collaborating with other musicians (although it's my dearest wish to see this) - his ego. He's been a solo artist for over 30 years and he's never going to share the plaudits with anyone else. It's his name in lights or nobody's, I reckon (oops, almost sliding into Aztec Camera there).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I know that “sack the band” was a mantra for a while, but I’m not sure it would fix much these days. Morrissey knows their limitations – Jesse’s ham-fistedness is a running joke, Boz always looks bored to tears – but I think he goes through musical “obsessions” and can’t be swayed. “Glam” was one, the thrashy, Smiths-murdering “Jesse era” was another, and then he went all flamenco. Some of his recent music is quite interesting, but the lyrics are weaker and weaker. It’s like the Morrissey machine is on autopilot.
Pretty much agree with this analysis but it’s clear that he continues to tour because he knows he can sell out these sort of places profitably (which presumably bankrolls his lifestyle), and I suspect not least, he genuinely enjoys the travelling and band/crew cameraderie of touring. It fascinates me that he still fills these stadiums, and with young people, given the dire press he gets.

Now I’m not a musician, but re Jesse, can someone tell me whether the lead parts of Smiths songs are particularly difficult? Could Boz play them if called on, for example? The band members seem to be friends to him at this stage, so there is no chance of him sacking them. Shame the acoustic gig last year never came to be - that would have been interesting.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I could happily run with that argument if I could think of a song on LIHS that had great music which was only let down by the lyrics, but alas, I cannnot. That's not to say I didn't like any of it - I thought Spent, Israel, Tel Aviv and In Your Lap, in particular, were good songs and all had at least some lyrics which made me think, ah yes, he's still got it (in among the clunkers). My hope is that a new group of musicians, who would challenge him more, would inspire him lyrically because it seems to me he's got lazy and thinks churning out his tiresome political dogma counts as edgy and original.
Israel is a lovely piece of music ruined by some (not all) very stupid lyrics. In Your Lap is a cracking piano composition, again with the same (but not quite as bad) lyrical problem.
Bury the Living is a really interesting composition musically. The music in the outro/coda has received a lot of praise which I agree with, but the rest of it's pretty good too - it's just some of the lyrics that almost render the song unlistenable. Open Your Legs is extremely catchy and a very nicely arranged composition - love the strings. But the words are awful. Wish You Lonely is an unusual and powerful piece of (almost) disco pop but again rendered unenjoyable by clumsy/duff lyrics. Home is a QM - another rousing piece of music, with lyrics that are either foolish, meaningless or cringey. As noted elsewhere, the ending is indeed a bit like Lost but whereas with Lost we had the wistful lyrical beauty of 'Don't make fun of me later - I'm just lost', with Home we get the cringey, 'Wrap your legs around my face' - yuk. Enough examples for now?!
 
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