What Happened to Morrissey? Part 2 - read on

lukehart

Junior Member
What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

I just signed into this forum just to get this off my chest. I love Morrissey, he was a God when he was in The Smiths and from Viva Hate to Maladjusted and all the b-side rarities albums too, I thought his solo career was really good too. A bit patchy with Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted but most of those two albums were good with only a couple of lame ducks. He then went away for 7 years and I thought "Oh wow, 7 years away he must have really taken the time out to write the best album of his career". The hype of his return seemed to confirm this. But YATQ was dull, so repetitive was his lyrics and the songs all seemed to drag on as he crooned. Then ROTT was announced, Tony Visconti producing and Moz had left L.A - finally could this be his great return? Alas no. Sure it was better than YATQ but not by much. So what's happened to our beloved Morrissey? Feel free to discuss but my 2 cents is Moz needs to get rid of Alan Whyte and Boz Boorer and bring in younger fresher songwriters, maybe get special guests in - The Edge, Coldplay's Jonny Buckland. Personally I'd love to see Echo and the Bunnymen's Will Sergeant team up with him, especially after Echo's great album of last year "Siberia". Moz needs to rock out more, not so many droopy ballads next time. P.S don't bash me when replying, I love Morrissey but I just think he can do better, he needs to make another Vauxhall & I. Quite frankly I think alot of Morrissey fans deep down agree with me.
 

~El Boydelz~

Also a client
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

With all due respect, I also disagree, STRONGLY! The Quarry sessions in my opinion were about 75% great and ROTT is far better. Coldplay and U2 guitarists, come on, that would be horrible!!! The Edge is not younger and having maintained the same style for most of his career he's well past fresh. So "quite frankly" this Moz fan does NOT agree with you.
 

Mr_Shankly

Singing his life
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

I Also Disagree. 1995's "Southpaw Grammar" was the bottom of the barrel to me in Morrissey's carrer, and "Maladjusted" was bad,too. 7 years after, we got the new mature-but-foucused-again Morrissey, with a magnificant comeback album and the good old sharpness and delightful cynicism that even surprised the potimistic fans (well, most of them) and ROTT continues this line..Will morrissey reach it's career peak in the forthcoming years or maybe the peak of his carreer is behind him? This we'll know when he would eventually get off the stage..
 
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

lukehart said:
I just signed into this forum just to get this off my chest. I love Morrissey, he was a God when he was in The Smiths and from Viva Hate to Maladjusted and all the b-side rarities albums too, I thought his solo career was really good too. A bit patchy with Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted but most of those two albums were good with only a couple of lame ducks. He then went away for 7 years and I thought "Oh wow, 7 years away he must have really taken the time out to write the best album of his career". The hype of his return seemed to confirm this. But YATQ was dull, so repetitive was his lyrics and the songs all seemed to drag on as he crooned. Then ROTT was announced, Tony Visconti producing and Moz had left L.A - finally could this be his great return? Alas no. Sure it was better than YATQ but not by much. So what's happened to our beloved Morrissey? Feel free to discuss but my 2 cents is Moz needs to get rid of Alan Whyte and Boz Boorer and bring in younger fresher songwriters, maybe get special guests in - The Edge, Coldplay's Jonny Buckland. Personally I'd love to see Echo and the Bunnymen's Will Sergeant team up with him, especially after Echo's great album of last year "Siberia". Moz needs to rock out more, not so many droopy ballads next time. P.S don't bash me when replying, I love Morrissey but I just think he can do better, he needs to make another Vauxhall & I. Quite frankly I think alot of Morrissey fans deep down agree with me.

I agree and I think it's simple. Morrissey's edge is ebbing away.

Vauxhall and all that went before it were written with a huge sense of angst and disorientation. Southpaw was the new tough Moz and every album since has been the comfortable, contented extremely rich Moz. The music reflects the life and Moz is busy ordering Gucci and complaining about the FBI and judges being on his back. It's not exactly the sentiment behind 'Nowhere Fast' is it?

I don't think we can expect Moz to write a great album now. Personal disaster and self loathing would be required and he seems to have ascended from the 2nd one especially. He used to mean almost everything to me and I'm now down to just following his career with interest.

Having had brief acquaintences with Moz, Boz and others such as Linder Sterling I can confirm that they are all endlessly nice people who get on with each other very well. I think we now hear that comfort in the music.

Back when it mattered, Moz and Marr were trying to accomplish something. Moz then spent Viva to Vauxhall trying to emerge once and for all from under the shadow of the Smiths and had something to prove. There was still a sense of urgency. Anyone who hangs around long enough in the pop world gets cannonized eventually and it's Mozzer's turn to be a 'revered' 'seminal' and 'influential' artist. It's a position he greatly enjoys and he now understands himself and his life enough to not be nearly as pained by it as he once was.

Moz songs used to say everything to me about my life but he has changed and so have I and I can't relate to police bribes and who was the first of the gang to cark it. Sadly, I also don't care about either scenario. I cared about the sentiment behind 'Well I Wonder' or 'I'd Love To' however. Moz used to write about scenarios I could identify with strongly. Look at how many songs on ROTT for instance that are now 'I' or 'Me'. 'Suffer Little Children' seems a long time ago.

The memories are the great thing combined with the possibility that there might be something great still to come but unless you are one yourself, what has a multi millionaire flitting between Rome and LA REALLY got to say about you and your life? New musicians might aid but won't save. This is a new chapter in Moz's life and it currently looks like being the status quo for a long time to come.
 

bauer24

Senior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

I also disagree. Moz isn't in decline at all! He is moving forward. He is evolving as a person and as an artist.

Agreed, he has lost what was his appeal to most people, his pain, his angst. He is in a better emotional state than ever as far as I can see. But who knows maybe he has always been happy?

What he hasn't lost is his talent for penning wonderful, dramatic and heart wrenching songs from the heart.

And what he has gained is a mature and wonderful voice. For me his vocal has never been better, like Sinatra he has improved with age. Let me point out, I am not comapring his voice to Sinatra, he will never rival that voice, nobody will. Sinatra for me had the best voice of his career at age 50. Morrissey has still got 3 years to go yet and I can only see him improving.

After that? who knows but I am sure he will continue to write and hopefully when he does decide to call it a day, he will release any new material as poetry.

No Morrissey hasn't lost the edge? he has just matured like ALL great artists do and I for one am glad.

I cant for the life of me understand why anybody would think Maladjusted was a bad album? It is wonderful!
 

Jones

Senior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

He is writing more songs that I can relate to now than he has ever done. I just think it depends on where you are with your life whether you can relate or not.

I was worried with Quarry that he was getting too caught up in his own little world of the music business, lawyers and accountants but ROTT gives the lie to that idea.

Musically ROTT is the best thing he has ever done in my opinion.
 

handsome devil

Senior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

I also disagree... How can anyone of U2, and especially of Coldplay, contribute to Morrissey's work. They are both bad bands. He is way ahead of them.

To me both of his last two albums are great. They are different than the ones before in a way that he has now matured and has found the best way to completely express himself. His career is at it's best, and I'm glad for that.

I think I love the man more now than ever.
 
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King Leer

Leering since '97
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

Lukehart,

Your articulate post begs the question -- "What happened to you?". I don't mean that in a negative way, but perhaps you've simply grown apart from the Morrissey you once idolized. His values, feelings, and words became increasingly different from yours. Or maybe you just don't like the songs, but your post doesn't read that way.

There are people who've been consistent fans all the way up until YATQ, but ROTT turned them off because they simply don't like the music or lyrics, but I sense in a lot of naysayers that they don't like the general direction Morrissey's going in as an artist.

I, however, am ready to follow the Pied Piper wherever he goes...
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

Ah, not this topic again. It has been touched upon many times. The answer of course is: nothing happened to Morrissey, something happened to you. With every album I can remember from The Queen Is Dead onwards somebody always claims Morrissey's "lost it", "isn't who he used to be", etc. Having followed Moz since 1985, my ears find You Are The Quarry and Ringleader quantifiably better than either Southpaw or Maladjusted. Do you not recall the critical abuse these albums received from "fans" and critics? I defended them then and now as "good" albums. But the last two are better. It seems for some fans Morrissey has a shelf-life and after that they can't relate to him anymore. So they claim he's "changed". I only wonder at why people feel the need to post their feelings of "disappointment" here...
 

ivanhoe

King of the mild frontier
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

So what's happened to our beloved Morrissey?

Thats quite simple, he's outgrown your stunted taste, he's progressed, advanced, moved on, blossomed and grown.
try it you might like it.
 

Please

Senior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

the edge, buckland?

really do you think buckland has enough depth? and the edge is just a muso

Look at the writing credits of both Boorer and Whyte, amazing
 

nd110

dios no existe
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

U2 ..? Coldplay?? He Could Call Keith Richards Isnt It?...amigo You Are Deaf...
 

mjp

Retired Mozerator
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

Hey "That's Enough For Me" - although I don't agree with you or "lukehart" I have to say your post is one of the most articulate and well structured I've read on these boards for a while.
 

masterrhodes

On Your Ban List
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

First post and negative at that. I also disagree. I think ROTT is one of his best. He seems to always come up with something cool. There is anoter post going on right now where you have to pick your least favorite Morrissey album. That is hard as hell! Every album has it's own mood and I don't hate any of them. Just keep listening to ROTT and it WILL grow on you I promise.
 

mjp

Retired Mozerator
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

masterrhodes said:
First post and negative at that. I also disagree. I think ROTT is one of his best. He seems to always come up with something cool. There is anoter post going on right now where you have to pick your least favorite Morrissey album. That is hard as hell! Every album has it's own mood and I don't hate any of them. Just keep listening to ROTT and it WILL grow on you I promise.

Agreed materrhodes - I just keep picking the compilations then I'm gonna be real stuck!
 
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

mjp said:
Hey "That's Enough For Me" - although I don't agree with you or "lukehart" I have to say your post is one of the most articulate and well structured I've read on these boards for a while.

Thank you.

I should add that I know every song backwards including the b-sides and rareties.

I am someone who has actually had the pleasure of discussing 'Tony The Pony' with Moz at his own house.

I for sure have changed and so has Moz. My overriding feeling since Vauxhall is that he's run out of things to say. Moz himself admitted in a Q interview that he'd overused his past inspirations and was moving on. For me the quality has declined since then and I can fully accept that I don't identify with what he's doing now.

It's all about opinions and everybody has one. From my point of view then, put the weakest work of Viva - Vauxhall against the strongest since and I honestly think that Viva-Vauxhall wins, it carried such emotion with it.

Increasingly, Whyte and Boz's music has done nothing for me, the tunes are threadbare and even massive producers can't beef them up too much. I understand though that this is at Moz's instruction to avoid comparisons with the past as Interesting Drug and Sister I'm A Poet to name two, were compared with the Smiths.

Like I say, my view is that of my first post in this thread, Moz is very comfortable in his life - and that's great - but for me, you hear that comfort in the music. If the very first album had been ROTT and it had come out in the current climate, I'd be hailing it as a masterpiece.
 

draize_train

heathcliff!
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

That's Enough For Me said:
I am someone who has actually had the pleasure of discussing 'Tony The Pony' with Moz at his own house.

What did he say?

I agree that Morrissey's new sense of comfort is shining through in his music, and that his focus has shifted more from universal themes to lawsuits, "t-shirts and promos, God knows". I also think he has lost a lot of his subtlety (or deliberately shed it). I don't see how anyone can claim that Morrissey has not changed in the last years...
 

YorkMoz

Junior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

Quote:

Originally posted by draize train:

"I agree that Morrissey's new sense of comfort is shining through in his music, and that his focus has shifted more from universal themes to lawsuits, "t-shirts and promos, God knows". I also think he has lost a lot of his subtlety (or deliberately shed it). I don't see how anyone can claim that Morrissey has not changed in the last years..."


Well Morrissey has changed - who is denying that in the above posts???

Moz does appear to be happier of late (At Last I am Born etc). It is well documented that Moz has suffered severe bouts of depression in his life. If this debilitating illness is behind him I, for one, am very happy about this! I get the impression from your post (And even more so from That's Enough for Me) that you would rather that he was, for want of a better phrase, still ill. If this is true, exactly what kind of person does this make you?

You see, I think this argument is predicated on the mistaken belief that an artist must be suffering to produce worthwhile art. This is absolute nonsense. Much great art can be the product of happiness, good mental health etc. Morrissey has produced sublime music - and poignant lyrics - when he has been depressed, and when he has been (seemingly) content. The idea that all great artists have to live a life of permanent torment is ludicrous. Yes, Morrissey is a rich man nowadays. Some "fans" seem to resent him for this. For Christ's sake, have you ever wondered why he is a millionaire? We bought every one of his f***ing CD's! Good luck to him, I say.

Now to the issue of lyrics. It does annoy me when so called fans criticise Quarry for being dominated by lyrics about lawsuits, judges etc. Exactly how many songs on the Quarry sessions are these critics referring to - 2 out of about 30 songs in total? (How can anybody? You know I couldn't last) Something like that anyway....he does sing about other things too, you know ........including the "universal themes" with "emotion" that you suggest were only a feature of his earlier work. Quarry and Ringleader are both replete with songs that deal with themes such as sex, love, loss, death, hope, hopelessness, despair, re-birth etc. If you don't know this, what do you know???

And now on to the other peculiar poster who started this debate...

Originally posted by That's Enough for me

"It's all about opinions and everybody has one. From my point of view then, put the weakest work of Viva - Vauxhall against the strongest since and I honestly think that Viva-Vauxhall wins, it carried such emotion with it"


Well of course this is all about personal opinion. But I thought I would put your theory to the test.

Arguably, the weakest on Viva-Vauxhall could be, say...."I don't mind if you forget me" and "Used to be a Sweet Boy"

Arguably, the strongest on Quarry-Ringleader could be, say....."First of the Gang" and "Pigsty"

And you would say that the first two songs are superior? Well, i respect your opinion mate, although I think it is a very peculiar one.

TO SUMMARISE: The vast majority of posters recognise and welcome the fact that Moz has changed. What hasn't changed is the fact that he remains a genius who still produces top quality music and lyrics.
 

bauer24

Senior Member
Re: What happened to Morrissey? Discuss

excellent post YorkMoz!!!!
 
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