"World Peace is None of Your Business" Morrissey

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Morrissey

World Peace Is None Of Your Business Album Review

Harvest/Capitol Records

Released July 15, 2014

Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock, Smiths-Core
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At the ripe old age of 55, Steven Patrick Morrissey surpasses the opportunity to simmer down, to hang up the quiff and gracefully decline into a new, slower stage of his life adapting accordingly. Having recently released an eagerly anticipated autobiography, light was shed on the method behind the misery. For the die-hard followers, with which there are legions, there were probably no surprises in store. However, it ignited a debate concerning Morrissey’s status as a poet or as a musician, having rejected the latter himself. While The Smiths whipped up an Indie maelstrom in the early ‘80s, Moz’s solo endeavors, bar a few exceptions (Vauxhall & I, Your Arsenal), were received as dulling and tirade. Unfortunately, new release World Peace is a victim of the same faults.

And it’s not as if Moz is a stranger to playing the victim. In fact he’s made his career off of feeling the universe’s wrath concentrated onto his brow. It’s the reason his music resonates with the bohemian crowds but also why many will feel slighted by Morrissey’s self-righteous judgements on their day to days. And despite it’s over-simplified slant on world economics, the title track opener showcases his voice in full splendour not seeming to have aged and the lyrics remain consistently interesting as well. Like his distasteful view toward reproduction on ‘Neal Cassady Drops Dead’ in which he waxes “Everyone has babies / babies have rabies / rabies have scabies” and on it goes. While lacking in tact, Moz’s ability to turn a phrase has persevered through the decades.

On ‘I’m Not a Man’ grisly pompousness is projected as Moz’s crosshair brushes the chests of men, meat-eaters and an array of the generalised public and at seven minutes long the instrumentals flat-line, and the intrigue melts to pity. Redeeming single ‘Istanbul’ featuring some great stuttered guitars and phasing modulation which makes less of an appearance as Spanish rhythms seem to be shoehorned into this record. On tracks like ‘Earth is the Loneliest Planet’ and ‘Kiss Me’nylon strings flourish up and down the mix adding further convolution. This flip-flopping between electric and low-key dynamics echoes Moz’s indulgent nature letting the inconsistencies pepper the record like weekend warriors at a picketing line.

Not entirely void of depth, the auspicious melodies on ‘Staircase at the University’ and, for all it’s over-dramatics, an honest examination into the mind sight of the pressured student through the medium of sadistic communion. Though for every lucid insight comes moments of surreal descriptions like on ‘Mountjoy’ featuring tinny acoustic guitars and Moz’s classic self-victimizing as he bleats “I was sat here by a three foot half-wit in a wig / I took his insults on the chin”.

Silky tones and lush vocals are the disguise of Morrissey exhibiting an unfounded frustration of a disjointed worldview – half-baked and polarising; maybe a credit to Moz as an artist in that World Peace parallels this. There’s a painful irony in that the man that stood against authority so influentially not but 30 years ago has now become the archetypical and bitter man raging against a time he doesn’t quite understand.

 

FAV TRACKS: KISS ME / STAIRCASE AT THE UNIVERSITY

LEAST FAV TRACKS: MOUNTJOY / I’M NOT A MAN / SMILER WITH A KNIFE

SCORE: (5.2/10)

 

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