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Morrissey - Low In High School (Album Review)

Friday, 17 November 2017 Written by Jacob Brookman

In a music world too often occupied by blank, mundane personalities, Morrissey remains a torch bearer for political itchiness and introverted bombast. That said, 'Low in High School', his 11th solo album, is laced with borderline bigotry and libidinous ennui. This cantankerous bastard is clearly not dealing with ageing well.

But there are still moments that fizz, like Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage. It’s the story of an actress who is losing her touch and, in many ways, Morrissey could be commenting on his own career.

The delicate chorus appears to refer to his own well trodden melancholia: “She is determined to prove / How she can build up the pain / Of every lost and lonely day.” It’s excellent storytelling, and the distinctively bloodthirsty outro reminds us of peak Moz: “Everybody's heading for the exit, exit!”

Elsewhere, his zeal for bitchy grandstanding misfires on I Bury the Living; a quixotically compassion-free anti-war song that focuses on an individual soldier’s experiences. “You can't blame me / I'm just an innocent soldier / There would be no war / If not for me,” he sings.

One of the things that makes Morrissey so appealing is that he - like contemporaries Elvis Costello and Jarvis Cocker - often appears willing to leap headlong into subject matter that other songwriters avoid.

When it works, you have truly remarkable music capable of building bridges that last lifetimes. But when it doesn’t connect - as with I Bury the Living, the confusingly reactionary Israel and the tedious Who Will Protect Us From the Police? -  there is very little to like.

It’s not that Morrissey has lost his touch - his lyricism retains its edge and the songs (though none are hits) are arranged with precision and verve. The problem with ‘Low in High School’ is that the music lacks freshness and charm. Morrissey is a fascinating, sui generis character and lyricist but his music has been coasting on that for far too long.

Morrissey Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri February 16 2018 - ABERDEEN AECC BHGE Arena
Sat February 17 2018 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Tue February 20 2018 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Fri February 23 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Metro Radio Arena
Sat February 24 2018 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Tue February 27 2018 - BIRMINGHAM Genting Arena
Sat March 03 2018 - BRIGHTON Centre
Wed March 07 2018 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Fri March 09 2018 - LONDON Alexandra Palace
Sat March 10 2018 - LONDON London Palladium

Click here to compare & buy Morrissey Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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