8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readjusted
This is a vastly under-rated album and the re-issue brings it to another level. Featuring some of the best bsides from the Maladjusted period and reordering album tracks, the album feels complete now. I'd have preferred if they'd left 'Papa Jack' on the re-issue but I guess you can't have everything. Was good to finally hear 'sorrow will come in the end' on cd. I am...
Published on 24 Aug 2011 by Acton
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of a return to form...
With "Southpaw Grammar", Morrissey seemed to be trying to get something out of his system. The resultant album, although interesting, didn't make for particularly good listening. Although I wouldn't go so far as to label it a self-indulgent album, it clearly lacked any real attempt at communicating with its audience. Of course, all of Morrissey's work is...
Published on 7 Nov 2001
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readjusted,
This is a vastly under-rated album and the re-issue brings it to another level. Featuring some of the best bsides from the Maladjusted period and reordering album tracks, the album feels complete now. I'd have preferred if they'd left 'Papa Jack' on the re-issue but I guess you can't have everything. Was good to finally hear 'sorrow will come in the end' on cd. I am not a fan of re-issues and re-imaginings of albums but I'll make an exception for this one. The track listing and re-mastering is very good and the packaging is nice too, with a hugely improved cover shot of Morrissey. Nice album and a pleasure to listen to in it's entirety. I have the original album too but find that I'm listening more to the re-issue than I ever did when Maladjusted first came out.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GROWER IF EVER THERE WAS ONE!,
I discovered Morrissey quite recently; More stumbled across him really. I just missed out on The Smiths, and so wasn't really aware of his music. When a friend played The Smiths "Singles" to me I was hooked. I've since gone out and, over a year, bought each Smiths album and practically every Morrissey one. I can't believe The Smiths passed me by while I was a kid listening to Madness & Status Quo (please don't hold that against me). Tut tut!
Maladjusted was one of the last Mozzer albums I bought, on the strength (or weakness) of some pretty tepid reviews. As another reviewer here stated, I can't understand why. THIS REALLY IS A BEAUTIFUL RECORD! It shows plenty of sides of the multi-faceted Morrissey.
From a dark, tense opening title track which takes the listener through West London begining with the line "I want to start from before the beginning...", into the fantastic 2nd track & standout single "Alma Matters". "Ambitious Outsiders" does what it says on the tin, being rather ambitious, and not really fitting with the other tracks on the album.
"Trouble Loves Me" is absolutely beautiful! Starting with an "Imagine-esque" piano intro, it builds into a kind of show-song. Morrissey excels with songs that most other vocalists would simply not carry off (Come Back To Camden is very similar).
"Papa Jack" is interesting at best, and then comes "Wide To Recieve" which at first didn't grab me, but I recently played it in the car 6 times on the trot. It's that good! Simple, but very effective.
"Roy's Keen" is a complete shift in mood with an upbeat Mozzer telling us "you've never seen a keener window-cleaner". "He Cried" is another anthemic show-type track, and the album closes with a real rocker in "Satan Rejected My Soul" were our hero hints that even after life he still may not fit in in heaven or hell. Poor Mozzer!
One thing's for certain, if this is one of Morrissey's poorer albums, then what chance does anybody else have? If you like Morrissey you should love Maladjusted.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginnings of a return to form...,
By A Customer
With "Southpaw Grammar", Morrissey seemed to be trying to get something out of his system. The resultant album, although interesting, didn't make for particularly good listening. Although I wouldn't go so far as to label it a self-indulgent album, it clearly lacked any real attempt at communicating with its audience. Of course, all of Morrissey's work is personal and introspective, but almost always universally so. Not so with "Southpaw". "Maladjusted" marked the beginnings of a return to that universality; it actually speaks to you. Although, on the whole, it doesn't quite match the promise of "Your Arsenal" and "Vauxhall and I", it does contain some beautiful moments (and Morrissey's voice is stronger than ever). "Wide to Receive" and "Trouble Loves Me" are as heartfelt and soulful as anything the man has ever produced, "Ambitious Outsiders" is somehow both moving and threatening, and the title track is a fascinating and unique arrangement. It's this uniqueness, I think, that keeps Morrissey not only relevant but essential. And it's an effortless uniqueness, not a desperate, dear-God-how-are-we-going-to-stay-ahead? uniqueness that sees the likes of Radiohead moving in ever-decreasing circles, chasing their own cooling heals. It's an effortless uniqueness because, ultimately, Morrissey the artist and Morrissey the man have always been inseparable, fused in the womb. Nobody writes or sings or even thinks like Morrissey. There are no precedents, no pretenders to the throne; imitation is futile. If you want to hear this kind of thing, there's only one place to go.
If the next album isn't a multi-award winning, critically-adored milestone in popular music, I will honestly be very surprised.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine little pop album from before he was back in-vogue...,
On it's initial release in 1997, Maladjusted was seen as further proof of Morrissey's overall lack of contemporary relevance following the controversy surrounding Your Arsenal and the critical and commercial failure of his 1996 album, Southpaw Grammar.
The general consensus of the time saw Morrissey depicted as a lumbering dinosaur, out-of-touch with current trends and the insipid mock-movement that was Britpop, by producing albums that either reflected elements of progressive-rock (a big no-no in the days of the three-chord wonders) or instead, harking back to the former glories of the Smiths. Neither one of those opinions is necessarily true though, with both Southpaw Grammar and Maladjusted showing Morrissey's desire to push his trademark sound further - as he'd begun to do on career peak Vauxhall & I - by establishing a strong song-writing partnership with guitarists Alain Whyte and Bozz Boorer, as well as drafting in one of the greatest producers of 80's and 90's pop with Steve Lilywhite. The sound of these two albums (and it is really hard to separate the two, given their reputation as the most problematic of Morrissey's career) was much darker and rhythmically dense, with the critics imploring the singer's shift into dreamy atmospheric dirges and calling both endeavours difficult and far-from-immediate (two reasons why they unanimously adored Vauxhall & I).
However, the passage of time has, once again, proven these critical viewpoints wrong... to an extent! Well, it's true that Southpaw did see the inclusion of almost-classical arrangements, epic song-lengths and a bleaker, more-cohesive sound, but to dub it 'progressive' is to ignore the addition of great pop tracks like Boy Racer and Dagenham Dave. It is also true that this particular album sees a more eclectic musical style mixed in with that trademark Morrissey sound, and whilst the most difficult moment, Sorrow Will Come in the End was removed from most versions due to it's lyrical content, the overall sound and production quality acts more as a precursor to 2004's return You Are the Quarry, rather than a re-hash of his previous Smiths-related (or post-Smiths) musical endeavours. It seems almost churlish to defend the album in this manner, but the fact remains... this is simply a GOOD pop record. Like other commentators have mentioned, it seems that all you here about Maladjusted is how mediocre it is and how it fails to live up to The Queen is Dead or Viva Hate, though isn't the entire point of an artist to risk failure in the search of progression (lest they become 'too jaded to question stagnation')...?
I'll admit that not every song on here in on a par with tracks like Now My Heart is Full, Lifeguard Sleeping Girl Downing or Everyday is like Sunday, but at least four of the ten (or eleven if you get the U.S. import) are. The rest are just sublime, mid-tempo pop songs ranging from the good to the almost great. Morrissey, as both performer and lyricist, sounds invigorated, layering intoxicating melodies with the help of his backing band, whilst delivering his vocals with a lot of style and a great deal of emotion. The best songs for me are the ones that seem to lead off from Vauxhall... those dreamy, dreary ballads in which Morrissey takes heartache head on. Something like Trouble Loves Me - which often ranks amongst Morrissey fan's top-ten Morrissey related songs - giving us just enough of a hint towards the typical style of the Smiths, but with lyrics that seem more concise and universal ("in the half-light, so English - frowning, than at midnight I... can't get you out of my head"), whilst the later track Wide to Receive has a great doomed atmosphere about it, with Morrissey hopelessly pining "and I don't get along with myself... and I'm not too keen on anyone else".
I'd also go so far as to list Alma Matters (the album's big single, replete with a Mathew Rolston directed video that seemed designed to break Morrissey in America... though it never did!), which some have described as Morrissey-by-numbers, though for me, I find the melody absolutely ecstatic, whilst the lyrics weave heartfelt despair between subtle humour ("Alma matters in mind, body and soul, in part and in hole") as well as Ambitious Outsiders (looking towards that archetypical Morrissey subject matter; wayward youth), Roy's Keen (which seems to be almost universally derided amongst the internet-reviewing community) and Ammunition (which advances on tracks like Speedway and Boy Racer). Each of these songs is on a par with certain tracks from You Are the Quarry (specifically Come Back to Camden, All the Lazy Dykes, First of the Gang, etc), whilst the other tracks, though not quite as spell-binding as the ones I've noted above, all have certain charms that become more apparent with repeated exposure (the title track reminds me of Elvis Costello's Uncomplicated for some reason, whilst final track Satan Rejected My Soul is a great way to bring things to a close).
Maladjusted remains, perhaps, Morrissey's most underrated album, neglected more because of reactionary criticism (still reeling from the silly National Front controversy) and poor publicity on the part of Island/Mercury records (who wouldn't even let the man finalise his art-work; resulting in one of the blandest album covers I've ever seen), rather than anything approaching poor song writing or musicianship! This is an album that all Morrissey fans should own (if only for Trouble Loves Me, Wide to Receive and Satan Rejected My Soul); especially if you already love albums like Viva Hate, Your Arsenal, Vauxhall & I and the classic-compilation Bona Drag; all of which are integral really before progressing onto this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MALADJUSTED,
Tragically over-looked 1997 album by the UK's greatest living singer-songwriter. Dark, introspective, heartfelt and shot-through with both longing and wit, 'Maladjusted' was woefully under-promoted by the record company and casually dismissed by lazy critics with deadlines to meet and little patience to explore its rich, brooding quality. Highlights include the title track, 'Alma Matters' and the gorgeous ballad 'Trouble Loves Me' which must rank among his finest work. The US release includes the merciless 'Sorrow Will Come In The End' - a revenge attack akin to Queen's 'Death On Two Legs'. It would be seven years before his next release, the hugely enjoyable 'You Are The Quarry' from 2004.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great album, sounds a lot like 'Quarry',
By A Customer
The more things change the more they stay the same. It took Morrissey 7 years to summon up the enthusiasm (or secure a record deal) to release the follow up to this album. In that time music journalists changed their minds about Mozza, labeling him as a Great British Institution, and record buyers changed their minds sufficiently to get his come back single into the top ten. But some things remains constant; the two albums that book end this wilderness period sound remarkably similar. Some tracks are virtually interchangeable (swap Pappa Jack & Trouble Loves Me for Quarry's America is Not the World and Come Back to Camden and see who notices?).
As you can see from the other customer reviews here, this is an album that many people enjoy. It certainly does not deserve to be ignored. The single Roy's Keen remains one of Morrisseys most instantly infectus. Although Nothing here scales the highest heights of Morrissey's creativity (Pappa Jack is terrible while Trouble Loves Me and Wide to Receive are just OK) there are some solid enough moments in the shape of title track Maladjusted, single Alma Matters and fan favourite Ammunition.
The overall tone of the album, like Quarry, is a little to laid back and seems to center on aging, the follies of youth and (you guessed it) the need to be loved (this is a Morrissey album after all). But where Quarry has some teeth, Maladjusted has a nifty set of gums; Morrissey seems more likely to nibble his enemies to death then bite their heads off. Whilst Quarry may have a few brighter and sharper moments Maladjusted feels like a more complete train of thought, the sound of a man aware of being resigned to the bargain bins before his time. As such, it is a more complete expirience and hangs together better as an album.
If you are an established Morrissey fan Maladjusted should either be in your CD collection or your wish list. For newer fans who enjoyed Quarry, you will certainly enjoy this good but not great album. But first you would be wise to check out Vauxhall & I, Southpaw Grammer and Viva Hate.
Re-issue update, 19th May 2009:
Amazon have copied this review to the page for the new repackaged, reordered and remastered version of Maladjusted so I feel I should comment on that. And I'm really not impressed! The only thing the re-issue has going for it are the Morrissey penned liner notes, everything else feels like a step backwards. By cutting tracks and reordering the album it feels less cohesive then it did, making it a less fulfilling listening experience. Also, some of the included b-sides are quite weak, particularly 'Heir Apparent' and the syrupy 'I can have both'. Nothing on this reissue was particularly hard to get hold of, whilst admittedly 'Sorrow will come in the end' is getting it's UK debut and it is about time. All in all this feels like a wasted opportunity, it compares poorly to the Southpaw Grammer re-issue and there is certainly no reason for long time fans to buy it (unless you are a completest, and if that's you, let's face it, this isn't the first time you've been had).
Ah well, at least they finally got rid of 'Pappa Jack'.
And it's still not as bad as Kill Uncle.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Stalinesque rewriting of history.. but The Past Never Dies, Morrissey.,
Two years later, and Moz returned with the more typical "Maladjusted". At the time, Moz was so alienated he decried the usual sleeve designing skills to an inhouse team that gave the record a dull and tediously bland cover that betrayed the contents.
"Maladjusted" as it was then, was a strong, cohesive album, made of powerful songwriting, lyrical adventure, and Moz's wonderful lyrical melody. Moz was fast becoming a relic in the eyes of revisionist history - after all - with that many years behind him, there was no clear indication at that point that Moz wasn't simply going to fade from the public eye like so many former frontmen of generations past into a selective, niche solo career. Around him, Oasis puttered their last relevancy, Blur and Pulp skittered to the left, New Order and Depeche Mode had long since imploded, and The Cure were mining their commercial nadir. The landscape has changed, irrevocably, and all that was left were the dogged survivours of the apocalypse.
Moz was a man adrift. Whilst neither he nor his band lacked purpose or vigour, the muscular rhythms of the title track and the assertively rebellious "Ambitious Outsiders" or "Ammunition" were and are, equal to anything else Morrissey's solo career had birthed.
However, this reissue is a travesty. In an act of historical revisionism, Morrissey has delibrately excised two songs - the unexceptional "Roy's Keen" and the powerful, but somewhat regretful "Papa Jack". Any exclusion is unforgivable : You cannot get away with airbrushing out of history what you are embarassed about, and neither of these songs are worth being embarassed about. "Papa Jack" is powerful, brilliant, and touching love letter from a fading star to his shrinking but loyal constituency.
Maybe Morrissey wants to pretend he never doubted us or himself, and that he never felt that perhaps his time was up. If he must excise anything, or perhaps leave anything unsaid, the most obvious choice is "Sorrow Will Come In The End", an atonal, vicious three minute attack on his former drummer that ends with the sounds of guillotines being dropped, and lyrics as juvenile as "legisled theft leavs me bereft / lawyer / liar" and "I praise the day that brings you pain" and "Don't close your eyes / a man who slits throats has time on his hands / I'm going to get you". Moz still grinds an enormous axe about the fact that he thinks he can underpay people and mislead, and rues the demise of others considerably less rich than he is from his LA Mansion. Why he felt this song deserves inclusion in the album, when much stronger material is airbrushed out is baffling and frankly, stupid.
Of the rest of the album, "Trouble Loves Me", and "Alma Matters" are the type of song that Morrissey is best known for, half-revealing mysteries, poetic enigmas, songs that singlehandedly destroy the cliché that The Smiths were the only good stuff he ever did and his solo work was uniform drivel. Some of it is drivel ; and "Sorrow Will Come In The End" is the worst song he ever recorded. The B-sides, such as "Lost" are important parts of the story, and in some cases as strong as the album cuts. Their inclusion here is worthy ; but they should be bookends and not shuffle out better songs that for some reason Moz wants to disown. (And if there is one album Morrissey should rework completely, its the inept and limp "Kill Uncle").
Add bonus tracks, by all means, change the artwork and pervert the running order if you must. But for heavens sake, don't try and rewrite what was. History will prove you wrong. There was a time when the kids reached out, and you pushed them away. And they may stay away.
If you can, find the original release with the cohesive, and much stronger running order. "Maladjusted" is a fabulous record, but this is not the way to listen to it. Pick this up for the extra songs and not for the sentiment. You can't pretend the past never happened.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good music, bad package,
This IS the great lost Morrissey album - casually dismissed by the majority of critics but not musically not all that different to "You Are The Quarry" and frequently more imaginative lyrically.
But this ISN'T the way to acquire it!
Morrissey, like too many other egomaniacs, has failed to learn an important lesson - neither the artist nor the record company has any right to rewrite history by OMITTING data that doesn't suit their objectives. They can add footnotes and sidebars in the form of bonus tracks, but they must never, ever delete tracks!
In truth, "Roy's Keen" was nothing special - but it should be here. "Papa Jack" really should have been here- it may be the self-pitying rant of a washed-up rock star but musically it was one of the album's most powerful moments (mainly because of the instrumental second-half).
And since there are no previously unreleased tracks, there's no reason on earth why anyone should buy this.
The 11-track US/Europe version of the original album - with "Sorrow Will Come..." and the two aforementioned tracks - is still fairly easy to obtain on the secondhand market. The singles aren't too scarce either (they are "Alma/Heir/I Can", followed by "Roy/Lost/The Edges", followed by "Satan/Now I Am/This Is Not").
So collect them - and leave this to gather dust, show Morrissey that the musical equivalent of a secret book-burning will never again be tolerated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine, Mid-period Moz,
Given the current hiatus (again) in the recording career of Manchester's finest son, I thought it appropriate to revisit this 1997 album. I know pretty much everything to do with young Steven is prone to attracting controversy, as indeed might my opinion of this album, but I always regarded Maladjusted as something of a return to form for the man, in effect eschewing the more 'progressive' sounding influences underpinning 1995's Southpaw Grammar in favour of a series of infectious ditties (there are no 10-minute plus 'epics' here) falling only slightly short, quality-wise, of those on 1994's masterpiece Vauxhall And I. Of course, given the man's reliance on Messrs' Whyte and Boorer's composing skills, there is (I guess) always going to be an element of 'hit or miss' about any collection of Morrissey songs, but here both band stalwarts come up with a pretty impressive set of goods.
Kicking off with Boorer's album title song, subject-wise Moz revisits his obsession with 1950s British cinema by starting with Anthony Newley's quote from the 1955 film The Cockleshell Heroes (which also featured Now My Heart Is Full-referenced obscure British actor Patric Doonan). In fact, of all the songs here it is probably this one that bears the closest resemblance to Southpaw, with its full-on instrumental backing, slow, throbbing beat and a set of lyrics taking in a whole plethora of low-life London ambitions, but ending on a message of misdiagnosis and the defiantly repeated refrain of 'There's nothing wrong with you'. This message of defiance (in trademark fashion) permeates much of the album and nowhere more clearly than on Alma Matters (a tongue-in-cheek take on educational authorities?), which, to Alain Whyte's buoyant and infectious melody (one of his very best in my book), Moz ironically intones, 'Who asked you anyway? It's my life to wreck my own way'.
Thereafter, the album's tone steps down slightly and follows with a series of melodic and nicely judged ballads, including Whyte's Ambitious Outsiders, Papa Jack, He Cried and (live audience favourite, with its sweeping chorus) Trouble Loves Me, plus the impressively subtle melody of the Spencer James Cobrin song Wide To Receive, with Moz's poetically reflective lyrics, 'I've never felt quite so alone as I do right now'. These ballads remind me, mood-wise, of some of the similarly impressive slow songs on Vauxhall And I.
But it's not entirely a case of moody introspection as the pace livens up a tad with Boz's vibrant Ammunition, and thence on Moz's hilarious football/window cleaner hybrid on the Alain Whyte song Roy's Keen ('We've never seen a keener window-cleaner') and the album concluding with (probably the best of the rockier numbers) Boz's riff-infected Satan Rejected My Soul, on which Moz pleads for the devil to allow him entrance to his domain.
An album often overlooked, but well worth revisiting.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Re-written history that doesn't convince.,
At the risk of echoing a previous review by Mr. A. Reed, this cannibalising of one of Morrissey's lesser-loved albums amounts to a poor and unconvincing attempt to re-write history. Why? Perhaps to add to the myth and legend? Perhaps to slap and bully an unsatisifying album into something that it should've been? Whatever the reasons in Morrissey's mind, it leaves a bad taste, not least of all because this lumpen re-telling is actually worse than the original effort.
The fact that two tracks from the 1997 version are missing is unacceptable; that one - "Papa Jack" - should be one of Morrissey's best musical offerings from that year amounts to total buckshot-in-own-arse. In place of the AWOL two (the other being the mediocre "Roy's Keen"), we find rubbish such as "The Edges Are No Longer Parallel" (?!?) and the creaking 7-minutes-plus monotony of "This is Not Your Country", the latter of which evokes nothing but a cry of "For Christ's sake, get going!" There are also three other former B-for good reason-sides, all stuffed into the original album's remaining songs, with a different and not necessarily better running order.
"Ambitious Outsiders", "Satan Rejected My Soul", and "Trouble Loves Me" are all well enough, but this whole endeavour does raise the endlessly ringing question, "What was the point?" Damned if I know. The most interesting thing about this and its sister, the marginally better bastardised version of "Southpaw Grammar", are Morrissey's sleeve-notes, in which he reveals a few drops of perspective, and does so eloquently.
No lyrics with this disc either, though some may regard the unquestionably pretty pictures of Morrissey as more important. And that, in a nut-shell, may be the almighty difference between Morrissey's days with The Smiths and the last fifteen years of his solo career.
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