Morrissey - Years Of Refusal

Firstly, for any legal people out there, I have not stolen this album from the interweb. Not at all. The story is long and complex and involves Marty McFly, a large quantity of vodka, several farm animalsand a trip to the future to when the album is actually released.

I love Morrissey. It is an inescapable fact. I have been waiting for this album for a long time considering it was orginally meant to be released last September. I was lucky enough to catch Morrissey on his Greatest Hits tour last year where he previewed a number of songs for this album and they were generally all met with a positive reception.

"Something Is Squeezing My Skull" is a great opener for the album. A somewhat rockier opener than usual (other than "You're Gonna Need Someone on Your Side" from 1992's Your Arsenal) which bodes good things. A few different styles are tried out on the album with "Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed" having a kind of military marching band theme to it whilst "When Last I Spoke To Carol" is all flamenco Spanish guitars. First single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" is
nice enough with lyrics about stone and steel taken directly from the pages of the Brett Anderson songwriting handbook. Making townscapes a
metaphor for a relationship? How original.

And then it gets to the bit that really really annoys me. Last year Morrissey put out a(nother) Greatest Hits album with two brand spanking new tracks on it (both incidentally released as singles with varying degees of success). But, surprise! Look, here they are again. Way to piss off the loyal fan there Morrissey.

The second half of the album is all pleasant enough but only "You Were Good In Your Time" really stands out as anything you might remember
after a few listens.

It seems to me that the differences between Years Of Refusal, Ringleader Of The Tormentors and You Are The Quarry are so neglible that they all very well (all quite possibly were) written at the same
time. There is nothing here that stands out as different. At least Ringleader had "Life Is A Pigsty" as some kind of a centrepiece for
the album, something to build it around if you will and You Are The Quarry was a breath of fresh air after him having been away for so long. Years Of Refusal however seems to be built by some kind of generic Morrissey song machine that just makes it all very forgettable. Don't get me wrong, it's all very well produced and the songs all roll along nicely and I know first hand that live some of them work very well. Perhaps Morrissey needs to work with some different people, he has had the same revolving band for some considerable time now. He will hate me for saying this, but this album is missing the X factor. And that's the worst thing about it, increasingly more and more it does seem as if he is relying on his past glories to still be relevant, which for someone like Morrissey is simply an awful thing to do.

All in all, it's a bit of a disappointment to be fair.

I'm not Sorry.

Richard Bull