Morrissey - You Are The Quarry

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2004-05-17

It's been a long while coming and the world is a very different place, but there's something remarkably timely about You Are the Quarry, the album that marks the return of Manchester's most famous miserablist to the pop arena. And be assured, this biting, lyrically ambiguous collection of songs is pop through and through, albeit pop with its heart on hold and its loins full of unrequited lust.

"America" is typical Morrissey vitriol, a big, contentious opener that slams you in the jaw with a critical knuckleduster lyric. It's strange though that somebody now resident in LA should take a swipe at a country "where a president is never black, female or gay". Even odder, for this normally purist rocker, is the suggestion of a breakbeat (think George Michael rather than George Clinton) and almost--gasp--funky guitars. Elsewhere, bass and drums are pushed upfront in that swaggering Moz style, although "I Have Forgiven Jesus" is welcomingly reflective and nostalgic. "The World is Full of Crashing Bores" is another highlight and a caustic comment on the curse of Pop Idol culture, but the best track here, "You Know I Couldn't Last", is what the people really want. Both melancholy and euphoric in equal measure, it's a fine reminder of why hit-and-miss Morrissey is still so revered. Welcome back misery guts; all is forgiven. --Paul Tierney

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