"Viva Meh: On Morrissey's Second Sustained Battle with Mediocrity" - The L Magazine

Found this on The L Magazine.

Viva Meh: On Morrissey's Second Sustained Battle With Mediocrity - by Ryan Chang, The L Magazine

Excerpt:

On August 29th, I’m going to see Morrissey 25: Live, the Pope of Mope’s first concert film since Who Put the M in Manchester? On August 29th, I promise you, I will be disappointed, and not in an immediately direct way that compliments the Mozzer. I’m legitimately going to be disappointed, and I’m going to be totally OK with it. In fact, I think it’s going to strengthen my love for Morrissey. He’s just going through something—the second major artistic slump of his 25-year recording career.
 
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Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
I saw the over used cliché of 'pope of mope' and was going to not bother reading, but I made it to the end and agree it's pretty spot on.
I won't comment on assessment of a particular album's worth as it's in the ear of the beholder, but thank you for the article.
Regards,
FWD
 
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bored

Lust a prima vista
It's an interesting article because it is clear the author is a fan, not just a writer.

No person trying to just write a story would know I Can Have Both is even a song, let alone one worthy of being on Maladjusted, nor would he/she know the 4 songs that were done in studio sessions.

I totally agree with Amanda Palmer on what power Morrissey has with his fan base and how successful he could be with kickstarter and Ryan Chang agrees.

I think the premise that "25" will disappoint is a good one.

I'm basically looking forward to this short list of songs:

Maladjusted
Still Ill (I really like this arrangement)
Speedway - this one is always good live
That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore - Just to have a good recording of it since I never saw it live

Other than that, I'm not that excited about the setlist.

Maybe seeing it will change my mind but this is pretty pale in substance compared to the Hollywood Bowl DVD.
 

ACTON

Don't Leave Us In The Dark
Spot on article. We'll all buy the new concert DVD/bray either when it comes out or after the price drops, and we'll all be mildly disappointed at what could have been. And we'll continue to wait for a new album that might not arrive or even if it does arrive probably ranks in the dead zone of 'okay-ish-ness' between Ringlead and Yawns of Refusal. And we'll continue to defend Morrissey regardless of anything he says or does, secretly hoping for a final classic album from him and a final tour with a running time of three hours in our local town, where phones and talking idiots are not allowed and entry is assured simply by a telepathic understanding with the doorman who hands you a frosted mug of weissbeer as you pass over the threshold.
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
Those arguments have been well worn here for some years, and often made better. It's more of a tribute to Morrissey-Solo than Morrissey, for that is its source.

If we are being brutally honest Morrissey has delivered three truly classic albums in his solo career. Viva Hate, Vauxhall & I and You Are The Quarry, and in a generation I believe it will be those three which will be recommended above the others for people wishing to explore his solo work. Those were the solo albums in which he had most to say, and did so in the most interesting ways. His other works have been fragmentary, but those three are whole.

I said a few weeks ago that I thought the Smiths delivered twenty-five years worth of great music in five years, while with Morrissey on his own we have had five years of great music stretched over a quarter of a century. We hold great artists to a higher standard than we do mediocre artists. That's why they are great. With his last "retirement" statement I've been listening to a lot of his stuff and it's hard not to come to the conclusion that he's been cut a lot of slack over the years.

Yesterday I listened to the whole of Your Arsenal, probably for the first time in a decade.

As awful as Kill Uncle was, in retrospect perhaps Your Arsenal was the true disaster. It was commercially successful and it nearly broke him in America, but it also seemed to give the false impression that an artist like Morrissey, with his highly idiosyncratic view of the world, could crossover into the mainstream. He never managed that in the UK, so prancing like a tit in a gold lame shirt on Letterman was unlikely to change anything. There's a reason Glam Rockabilly remained an exclusively Morrissey genre. When Marr dabbled at least we got Panic. When Morrissey dabbled we got Certain People I Know. Morrissey's reinvention of it was very much of its time, and that was six months in 1992.

Looking at it with the benefit of twenty-one years of hindsight I wonder if it was really worth the aggravation, Mick Ronson or not. Your Arsenal has not aged gracefully, despite some decent songs, but while the US and the UK bought it by the medium sized bushel, back here in Britain it also opened him up to the Marxist bile of Steven Wells and others.

It did toy with right wing imagery, and personally I don't have an issue with examining those things. I never felt those songs supported that ideology. I considered it a commentary on those things and therefore perfectly valid. The problem was that scum like Wells didn't think things like that should be even talked about. To then, in the face of the brewing storm, wrap yourself in the flag at Madstock was insane.

The naiveté of thinking some of those lyrics would not be examined syllable by syllable by his NMEs, particularly after Bengali In Platforms and Asian Rut, was extraordinary. The only good thing I can think of to say about Your Arsenal today is that it led to the reappraisal that was Vauxhall & I.

Listening to it now, there were pretty obvious clues that it was also a "f*** you" to Britain as the refrain "London is dead..." rang out from track two. "We look to Los Angeles for the language we use..." Well, you really shouldn't have, Morrissey. You really shouldn't have.
 

CrystalGeezer

My secret's my enzyme.
I'm just looking forward to a lovely 90 minutes of hearing him sing. I'm not sure I have to define it in my brain as a specific turning point or that the event is particularly collectible. :squiffy:
 

eugenius

Gabba Gabba Hey
I wanted to hate the little shit that wrote this, but I can't argue with anything he writes. Solid assessment of our hero's latter half.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
[off-topic] I'm young, I've been a fan for less than 3 years, and I like all of the records. I find it strange when people say that record x or record y is utterly horrible. I've been trying to hear it, but I just can't; it makes me wonder if there's something almost religious about hating certain records, like Kill Uncle for example. Maybe you're intellectualizing something that shouldn't be? Maybe I'm doing that too? Maybe we should just enjoy the music. [/off-topic, go on]
 

eugenius

Gabba Gabba Hey
Those arguments have been well worn here for some years, and often made better. It's more of a tribute to Morrissey-Solo than Morrissey, for that is its source.

If we are being brutally honest Morrissey has delivered three truly classic albums in his solo career. Viva Hate, Vauxhall & I and You Are The Quarry...

As you sure you meant "You are the Quarry" and not "Your Arsenal?"

Just re-read more of your post. Your reasoning stands in including "Quarry."
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Viva Hate and Your Arsenal are the only 2 classic or near classic Moz solo albums.

Vauxhall sounds like a collection of Smiths B to C sides, and Hold Onto and Now My Heart are the corniest pieces of shit he had written since Ask (which have now been eclipsed by I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris); and Lillywhyte's blurry/fuzzy/dreamy production is f***ing awful.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
Yesterday I listened to the whole of Your Arsenal, probably for the first time in a decade.

As awful as Kill Uncle was, in retrospect perhaps Your Arsenal was the true disaster. It was commercially successful and it nearly broke him in America, but it also seemed to give the false impression that an artist like Morrissey, with his highly idiosyncratic view of the world, could crossover into the mainstream. He never managed that in the UK, so prancing like a tit in a gold lame shirt on Letterman was unlikely to change anything. There's a reason Glam Rockabilly remained an exclusively Morrissey genre. When Marr dabbled at least we got Panic. When Morrissey dabbled we got Certain People I Know. Morrissey's reinvention of it was very much of its time, and that was six months in 1992.

Looking at it with the benefit of twenty-one years of hindsight I wonder if it was really worth the aggravation, Mick Ronson or not. Your Arsenal has not aged gracefully, despite some decent songs, but while the US and the UK bought it by the medium sized bushel, back here in Britain it also opened him up to the Marxist bile of Steven Wells and others.

It did toy with right wing imagery, and personally I don't have an issue with examining those things. I never felt those songs supported that ideology. I considered it a commentary on those things and therefore perfectly valid. The problem was that scum like Wells didn't think things like that should be even talked about. To then, in the face of the brewing storm, wrap yourself in the flag at Madstock was insane.

no-way-600x505.jpg
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I would still rather hear the worst of The Smiths (Golden Lights) or Morrissey (Sweetie Pie) in a loop than the best of Rap or Hip-hop has to offer.

BTW Kill Uncle is one of my favorites.
 

realitybites

making lemonade
Subscriber
I would still rather hear the worst of The Smiths (Golden Lights) or Morrissey (Sweetie Pie) in a loop than the best of Rap or Hip-hop has to offer.

BTW Kill Uncle is one of my favorites.

I love Golden Lights and would miss it if it wasn't on Louder Than Bombs. It fits the album, imo. And perfect as the B-side for one of my faves, Ask. It has a beachy, ocean vibe to it. I used to listen to LTB all the time when I lived in Florida, so it worked for me. :)

 
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A

Anonymous

Guest
"The L Magazine is a free bi-weekly magazine in New York City featuring investigative articles, arts and culture commentary, and event listings. It is available through distribution in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hoboken."

So it's an ad supplement, available in four burrows of New York.

I'm interested in their opinions.
 

Girlmostlikely

Active Member
This is a fair article. The author comes across as a genuine fan. I think most fans will agree that overall Morrissey's career is in a slump. And what was nice about this review, the author believes better things are still to come, I do too, 100%.

I do disagree with his assessment of South Paw, I loved it to pieces when it first came out, and still today. It took me years to get properly get into Maladjusted, it's not bad but every song isn't up to par.

I don't think that I will have the same reaction on 8/29, I don't anticipate dissapointment. I thought Morrissey's live show this year was amazing. As other posters have mentioned, perhaps we think it is better than it truly is live because we are under his spell:p But I enjoyed this years's shows so much, more than I ever expected, really, that i can't see not enjoying the film. And let's get real, I can't think of anything more enjoyable to do on a Thursday night out. Moz on the big screen, with a few friends after a couple of beers, I'm pretty sure I can't go wrong :p
 

Guernie

Member
Thanks for posting "Golden Lights" ! Never bought "Louder Than Bombs" but now must hit the local used record/CD to try and locate . Nice work realitybites ........ getting me to spend money and dive deeper into Smithdom.
 

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