Maladjusted Anti-Hero

Morrissey - "Maladjusted"
(Mercury Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)

By Tony Bonyata

Morrissey, the prince of mope and despair, is back with a new album and while it never reaches the level of greatness that his former band, The Smiths, obtained in their brief existence in the '80's, it shows that Morrissey hasn't lost any of his keen sense of dry wit and melodic sensibilities.
As English as the malt vinegar on fish and chips, Morrissey is an introverted exhibitionist that plays up his asexuality with blurred references of love and want to a sex that could be either male or female. Dogged insistently by the English press throughout his career, both solo and with The Smiths, it has not altered the way that he creates his unique blend of poppy music filled with humorous self-pity.
On "Maladjusted", Morrissey's latest album, he revisits haunting song structures and tragically hysterical lyrics that dominated his first five solo albums, Viva Hate, Bona Drag, Kill Uncle?, Vauxhall and I, and Southpaw Grammar.
"So, the choice I have made may seem strange to you, but who asked you anyway? It's my life to wreck my own way," he declares, as if he wants to fail, in a cavalier matter-of-fact manner on the jangley song "Alma Matters". On "Satan Rejected My Soul" he sings dejectedly, "As low as he goes, he never quite goes this low, he knows Heaven doesn't seem to be my home, so I must find somewhere else to go". And on a lackey's loving ode to a window cleaner, "Roy's Keen", Morrissey croons , "The ladder's a planet, Roy is a star, and I am a satellite. I will be set alight".
With his tongue planted so firmly in his cheek on lyrics like these it's sometimes hard to take Morrissey seriously, but his unforgettable melodies along with a more than competent, unobtrusive rock band help make Morrissey a distinctive rock anti-hero for the day.

Return to CD Archives
Return to CD Reviews
Return to Menu