'You Are The Quarry'

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chrisarclark

Guest
nearly two years on from the original commercial release of YATQ imust regretably admit that ino longer listen to the album that often. when it came out, it did the trick well enough for starved Moz fans the world over while introducing new fans to the world's most wonderful voice and wit, but sadly its simply not a record which stands the test of time. though ultimate blame should fall at the feet of Moz himself- it is his name afterall which adorns the cover- iaim most of my objections towards producer, Jerry Finn.

how this man was ever chosen by Morrissey to work on the album is beyond me. his previous resume reads like a whos who of the worst in popular music today- AFI, Green Day, Blink-182, Sum 41, etc.. a man like this should not be fit to lick Moz's boots let alone be producer on what could be seen as the most important album of Morrissey's career since 1984 (at least since '88). igather that Moz cam to meet Finn sometime in 2003 and found him charming enough sociably to invite him to work on the record, probably with little consideration to whether he was actually appropriate for the job. ican imagine when things started to go wrong Moz was juste too shy, too much ofa pushover to really say anything or, heaven forbid, sack Jerry. so they carried on and made due and after the album and perhaps one or two more b-side sessions Moz simply drifted away from Finn, avoiding confrontation. sadly, we are left with a record that is not nearly all that it couldve and shouldve been.

production choices on YATQ are continually dumbfounding. so many inappropriate, synthetic, unorganic sounds which accumulate to create an artificial, superficial overall sound which is oftentimes cringeworthy. nearly every song is a casualty to these odd and embarassing electronics and few rise at all above their injurous effect. even those which manage to avoid such overt assualts from Finn suffer in kind from a seeming abbadonment and lack of development which allow them to sink into a sort of drabness. track by track the album suffers from some of the poorest production ive ever heard.

"America Is Not The World"
things actually start off relatively well. the heavy/overt production of this track actually works fairly well. the constant yet faint elctronic echo in background is annoying if isolated and concentrated on, but its surrounding is enough to swallow it up and make it fairly complementary ina texturing role. the guitars sound chimmy, but it works and the bass is amongst the best on the album, even if it is exceedingly simple (complexity isnt always a positive anyway, simplicity can be equally if not more effective). this is probably one of Finn's best songs, but it was never going to be a song that really grabs a lot of people. its a very pretty song with a witty lyric and thats about it. one unproduction related note: since Moz has moved to Italy and fallen so in love with te city of Rome, the final lines of this song which create a magnificent finsh, "For haven't you me with you now? And I love you...", ring pretty hollow now.

"Irish Blood, English Heart"
this is another track that does fairly well, but its really despite every effort at sabatoge from Finn. the sound on the guitars is far too squeally. can you imagine if Visconti was on this album how crunchy the opening would be and how menacing the guitars would be. then of course theres the big finish where everything goes to hell- that ridiculous noise at 2:07-12, the screwy effect on Boz's guitar at 2:15-22- what the hell was that?! IBEH overcomes these flaws juste because it is sucha rocker of a song and such an impassioned vocal from Moz (Moz's vocals really do practically all of the heavy lifting on this album), but it couldve been so much better.

"I Have Forgiven Jesus"
this is probably Finn's greatest sin on the album. the synth/keyboards sound so bloody aenemic through the entire track- just so tiny (but not even tin) and hollow. the fake strings in the back juste cant fill the gaps- same goes for the electrowhisper in the back. the queer noise to finsh the track out underming the great surge that Moz has juste put forth. its juste all wrong. and it again couldve been a brilliant track- dark and brooding- but instead it comes out limp-wristed and feeble. a real waste.

"Come Back To Camden"
what is with the little electronic worm thats running its way through the background of this songs- of a lot of songs on this album, but here? this song should be pure Burt Bacharach-styled balladeering. its a complete throwback track and should be treated as such. ithink Finn is constantly concerned with bringing Morrissey's sound into the 21st century and apparently to him the 21st century is all about cheap electronic effects that sound, ironically enough, right out of the 80's.

"I'm Not Sorry"
here is one songs that manages to avoid any overt stabs from Finn- free from any odd electro sounds. it clips along fairly pleasantly, much in the way "Break Up The Family" did on 'Viva Hate', but you cant help but hink he couldve pushed the band a little more. the flute is a nice touch. credit where credits due, Finn did a good job here, but again this isnt the sort of song that makes an album.

"The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores"
you listen to a song like "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now" or "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" off of ROTT and you really wonder how much better this song couldve been. idont mind that the song was shifted to a ballad from its early, rockier rendition in earlier live appearances- ifind it more appropriate actually. but Finn allows the band to plod along for too much of this track. its basically free of the cheap elctronicswhich is good, save the small outro which has an atrificialness to it, but its not a big deal. the production isnt horrible here, but it doesnt help or add anyting either and it results in a duller track than should be.

"How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel"
this shouldve been a rocker. when you listen to ROTT you hear everything this song shouldve been- listen to "The Father Who Must Be Killed" or "In The Future When All's Well"- but no. its juste blandly produced and performed and the levels are all off. Gary's bass should be way up there- maybe his best playing on the album- but its sunken way back. the drums are a bore with far too much symbol. and then the end with those awful samples and that queer twinkly/shimmery effect (idont know to describe it, its juste pathetic)- this song shouldve rocked but is made a lightweight by production.

"First Of The Gang To Die"
this has become the most overrated song in Moz's cannon and im really not sure why. isuppose everybody juste looks back fondly on the live versions they had been listening to for two years before the album came out and seeing it on tour and theyre juste willing to overlook that the recorded version is ripe with flaws. its a great pop song, but the album version is beyond corny with the production choices. that sample at the opening, "Los Angeles, you are too hot!"- cmon. thats terrible. it sounds terrible, its about as corny a line as you can design, its terrible. if it was Moz's idea (which iknow many of his samples always are) Finn shouldve talked him out of it. and the other effects in the opening are horrid- the background synth and the stupid bit at the end of the intro at 0:18- juste embarassing. again the levels are all off with the treble doin overtime and the bass going right down. the guitar bit after "We are the Pretty Petty Thieves..." is done terribly- too isolated. the bit goin on behind the "sunlight thrown over smashed human bone" is nice. so is the synth leading into and during the "He stole form the rich and the poor" bit, but then Finn cant help fitting in one more stupid noise at 3:23. overall, its juste given a cheap and corny feel and the production never plays up the darker element to the song.

"Let Me Kiss You"
this is another song that actually does well with Finn's style of production. everything really works here and icant really say anything bad about the production at all. when the piano comes in and then the fake (but warm and well executed) strings at the end... its really beautiful. the echo in the back the scatter that slides around back there too work well. the guitar is great on this track. and Day is given proper attetnion as well. the piano in the middle too, its all really lovely. "Let Me Kiss You" might be the best track on the album. the brilliant lyric helps too.

"All The Lazy Dykes"
ilike this song alot and iknow that many dont but ifind it really special. ilike the opening with the electronic coda and the snyth feel to the guitar, it all works. but then Finn gets carried away with the elctronic swirls throughout the song- theyd hav much greater effect if he juste left off the triiger finger a little. it gets to the point where its actually fairly intrusive. still, ithink this song rises above this compulsion to hit the sound effect button- its a beaute ofa performance from Moz.

"I Like You"
itried to like the silly techno feel imposed to this track, but icouldnt do it. this song couldve made a great gothy type rocker in the vain of "You Have Killed Me", but instead its transformed into this awful thing with stupid electronic mumbles running throughout the song and a horribly superficial synth in the chorus. if given the appropirate treatment this could hav been a great song and a great single (like YHKM), but instead its almost unlistenable at times. itake back what isaid about IHFJ, this is the worst offence Finn made to the World of Morrissey.

"You Know I Couldn't Last"
great track. could be better- glammed up more, more visceral, but this is a pretty good job from Finn, especially when they pick up the volume. ilov the echo he puts on Moz's voice and the guitar- selectively done to great effect. Moz really takes off on this track and its a truly impressive closer- no "Speedway" by any means, but great nonetheless.

what is so bizzare is that his production on all of the b-sides to the YATQ session is excellent. "My Life Is An Endless Succession..." is wonderfully lush and dreamy. "It's Hard To Walk Tall..." rocks without any silly effects. "Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice" is a piece of glam perfection. "Munich..." is given a unique and fitting sound (and the effect that sounds like the planes engine is perfectly heartbreaking). ilov "Mexico" slowed down and dreamed up- its an oasis of a song. "I Am Two People" and "Friday Mourning" hav the stateliness of "To Me You Are A Work Of Art". "Teenage Dad..." is perfect. every sound and sample on "Slum Mums" is executed to perfect effect, including the effect on Moz's voice. "The Public Image" is my favourite song from the sessions- its heartwrenchingly beautiful. "The Never-Played Symphonies" is lovely with ticking in the backggound counting down the time and the piano has an organic feel thats too often missing from the album. and "No One Can Hold A Candle To You" simply soars. its as if the they tried to choose the worst produced tracks for the album.

its really toobad becos ithink all of the songs hav the potential to be great, but to many on the album are reduced to plastic shells. the production juste lend the album a decent shelflife and soon as the songs are no longer new they seem incredibly dated (like so much music from the 80's and so much techno/electronica). this is truly sad becos so much of Morrissey's music is utterly timeless, but this album betrays all of that.

by the end of it, having spent a couple of years with YATQ, ihavta say that its my least favourite of Morrissey's albums. that tile used to belong to 'Maladjusted' due to 2-3 of duff tracks and one poorly produced track ("Satan..."), but while idont think there are any real duff tracks on YATQ ido think at least half of the album are casualties to marred production and icant help but listen to them without a huge sense of regret, annoyance and frustration.

well, thats enough venting and wasting time for now.
 
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Calit

Guest
I think it's a beautiful album, lush and generous. I listen to parts of it everyday, STILL, as there's not a bad song in the bunch. Sadly, I'm already bored with most of ROTT.
 
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keybored

Guest
...."Moz was just too shy, too much of a pushover to really say anything or, heaven forbid, sack Jerry."..........

I got this far then realised you must know nothing of Morrissey. Didn't bother to read the rest, sorry.
 
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Berg

Guest
I think it was a good comeback to form personally. Yes, some tracks have "worn out" but this is the case with tracks on other albums.
 
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chrisarclark

Guest
> ...."Moz was just too shy, too much of a pushover to really say
> anything or, heaven forbid, sack Jerry."..........

> I got this far then realised you must know nothing of Morrissey. Didn't
> bother to read the rest, sorry.

idont mean that hes always shy, but hes not much for confrontation amongst his friends and associates. read about his dealings with Street. even with Marr when he said he wanted to leave- Morrissey didnt want him to go but he didnt say a word. hes not really much for rocking the boat when it comes to his circle.
 
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Moz Punk

Guest
It is his best selling album EVER, so Finn must've done something right....
 
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Alain Koenig

Guest
Re: It is his best selling album EVER, so Finn must've done something right....

I think it is his weakest long player.

However, the time was right, in the UK you get to a point where everything comes full circle and people start having affection for you for just being. You know, that respect for the dogged, the sentimental shit that people now have for Noddy Holder.

Of course, when the UK have decided this, then the rest of the world follow. Just like with The Rolling Stones, Kylie Minogue, Queen and Take That.
 
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AgelessBeauty

Guest
Everybody and their mom thinks they are a Producer/Music Critic these days

It's pathetic really.

YATQ was a great album...always will be.
 
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scott tracy

Guest
Re: Everybody and their mom thinks they are a Producer/Music Critic these days

> It's pathetic really.

> YATQ was a great album...always will be.

some people have way to much time on there hands !!i cant really think of a bad song on the album i dont give a shite how it sold just how it sounds and what it has to say and to me and most mozz fans its a great album.is everyone kinda burnt on it maybe but that happens with all albums the new album is totally killer but i see people on this board bash it daily why i just dont know maybe people just need to bitch??
 
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El Boy

Guest
Re: Everybody and their mom thinks they are a Producer/Music Critic these days

I like Quarry, the songs are strong, but it's in many cased despite the bad production. I agree with you in many cases and applaud you for taking the time. I especially agree on I Like You, production ruined it completely along with a horrible back beat on the drums. It's a big could've been. I also think Daddy's Voice needed more guitar bite like the live version. The bottom line though is that the songs are there. ROTT however upon review appears to be the most well produced work of his career. Still an "Arseman" over all, but ROTT is awash with little production touches that really add depth. Enjoyed your post!
 
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2jaded

Guest
While I think some of your criticisms of the production on YATQ are spot on, production makes up only a small percentage of the overall impression of that album.

Strangely enough, for me, after hearing ROTT, my impression of the quality of YATQ has increased. While I do think ROTT is a fantastic album, it has a consistency throughout that Quarry lacks, the songwriting on YATQ is probably the best Morrissey has had since Vauxhall & I, and the strength and quality of Morrissey's vocal are front and centre, the highlight of the album. The vocals seem a little more to the background in ROTT as it's more of a "band" sound. I only think of what could have been if Visconti had produced that album instead of Finn. Just listening to "Live at Earl's Court" or "Who Put The M In Manchester" gives a great feel for the strength of the songs on YATQ.

First of the Gang, Irish Blood, Let Me Kiss You, and The World is Full of Crashing Bores, each sound better to my ears than most of ROTT, save for the exceptional Pigsty and perhaps equalled by the beautiful vocals on "To Me You Are A Work of Art" and "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now". Lyrically, i find both albums have their shining moments, but ROTT once again is more consistently strong. Overall, I'd rate both YATQ and ROTT among the best, a shade below the standard of Your Arsenal and Vauxhall.
 
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Orson Swells

Guest
Hmmm. Not much to add. But I do wonder how an album's production can both "ruin" an album AND make it his most successful too? The production seems much less polished and even hurried on some of the b-sides. Also, you seem to actively like the weakest songs on Quarry, which is strange. For me: great songs = great album. Quarry is light years ahead of Kill Uncle, for instance. Personally, I find the production weaker on Maladjusted, Kill Uncle and the early Smiths - and Quarry and Ringleader are on a par with Your Arsenal and Vauxhall as his best solo records.
 
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dallow_bg

Guest
I liked what you wrote, thanks for taking the time.

I agree, I couldn't believe Jerry Finn was chosen.

Strongly agree that he really tried to bring Moz to the 21st century and I really hated a lot of those superfluous 'electronic' noises found everywhere.

It's my least favorite Morrissey album, musically.
His words are always special to me.

I don't know about these other people, but I love Kill Uncle and especially Maladjusted.

From the couple of songs I've downloaded, and what I heard when I saw him earlier this month. I like this new album better.
 
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Friday

Guest
I think that "You Are The Quarry" is a great album, I love that songs, but for some reason I think that "Ringleader Of The Tormentors" is so much more beautiful.
 
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