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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid effort from Mr Moz
The expectations awaiting each new Morrissey album are such that disappointment seems almost inevitable when the records actually come out, although it's testament to the man's talents that even when they're not the masterpiece hoped for they're usually at least as good as most of what's about at the time.

ROTT is perhaps not consistent enough to be a...
Published on 16 April 2006 by FoxyPablo

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something gained, something lost.
Let's start with the positives. This album is musically the best that Morrissey has created as a solo artist. His voice sounds smoother and more refined than ever. Indeed, "On The Streets I Ran" (the highlight of the record) rivals anything done by Morrisey or The Smiths in terms of vocal expression. The backing on tracks like "You Have Killed Me" and "I Just Want To See...
Published on 28 May 2006 by Marrissey


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More masterpiece than misfire..., 3 April 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
Without beating about the bush, some of Morrissey's albums haven't been that great. They've always had one or two great songs but I tend to listen only to three throughout (rather than drag and drop the highlights onto a playlist...): Suedehead, Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I. Fanatics will disagree (but then again they'll already have bought this and awarded it 6 stars).
So onto Ringleader Of The Tormentors... To me it feels like his best work so far. It takes familiar ingredients (lyrically and musically) and extends the palette in new and positive directions. The song titles pitch us in familiar territory ("Dear God Please Help Me", "Life Is A Pigsty", "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now") but the overall mood is confident and upbeat, even on the darker material. The sound is rich - strings, brass, orchestral percussion and a children's choir are all added in to the usual indie-guitar sound. It feels like the album he's been promising to make ever since The Smiths split but has never quite managed.
There are several stand-out tracks. "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" is simple and magnificent: every day may be like Sunday, but 'someone who can soothe' can get you through it. "Life Is A Pigsty", say no more... And on "Dear God Please Help Me" the positive impact of the pleasures of the flesh on one's state of mind are documented. Possibly not new news to most of us, but the feel of the simple piano-led song, shifting to organ (sonically as well as lyrically, oo-er missus), and then strings, is wonderful.
It's a record you'll probably be playing many years into the future. One whose act of creation made the world a better place. Give it a go.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong As Ever, 31 Oct. 2006
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
OK - it may not be cutting edge experimental, but hey this is Morrissey. As a life-long fan I've seen the lean years and the triumphant years but I believe this is a five star album. The production is far better than the often acclaimed 'You Are The Quarry' and the strings are used really well. As ever with Morrissey, there's a fairly varied musical palette; the dramatic opening 'I Will See You In Far Off Places' has an Eastern tinge with an underlying comment on the Iraq war. Given M's recent comments on Bush and America, this sounds like the perfect musical accompaniment. The press really dived on 'Dear God Please Help Me', which succeeds in being both funny and extremely moving at the same time. Morrissey's vocal here has seldom been better. I still enjoy Morrissey's quirky story songs like 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved' and 'The Father Who Must Be Killed'. The singles are catchy, 'Life Is A Pigsty' is the epic in the middle full of loathing, but it all ends on a high note with the thrilling 'At Last I Am Born'. Morrissey's recent concerts have been great too and I keep going back to this album and haven't stopped enjoying it since it was released.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a grower., 25 Dec. 2006
By 
Ted Maul "Ted Maul" (Cowsick) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
On first hearing this album i was,to say the least,underwhelmed.

However a combination of living with this album for a few months now and witnessing

most of it being performed rather excellently at Wembley Arena (although a lot of

others seemed to decide they would get up and buy drinks EVERY TIME any song

from Ringleaders started up) means i now see this for what this is-an excellent,consistent set

of songs almost on a par with Vauxhall And I et al.You Have Killed Me is as good as

any single he has previously released,Life Is A Pigsty is an emotional epic

to rival Late Night,Maudlin Street,and the art direction is a lot more focused

than the will-this-do? gangster posturing of You Are The Quarry.While i

wouldn't quite call this the best album of 2006-Joanna Newsom,Arctic Monkeys,

lily Allen,Yeah Yeah Yeahs,Thom Yorke,Hot Chip,Tapes'n'Tapes,Scott Walker,

iLiKETRAiNs,Isis,Muse and CSS all made equally good albums-but by god this is great.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moz does it again..., 4 April 2006
By A Customer
Although this album doesn't feature the obvious hooks of You Are The Quarry, it is, nonetheless, superb. It does take some listening to, however - the album becomes something really special about halfway through the seventh track, Life is a Pigsty (which is, I think, surely as much of an anthem as Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now). There is a naughty quotation from T.Rex in The Father Who Must be Killed, and Mozzer's lyrics are as sharp as even (the best lyricist since Cole Porter, perhaps?)Tony Visconti produces, and perhaps the CD foregrounds Rome rather too much. On this point, the interior photo of Moz is rather interesting - seated on Lambreta, with an old camera in hand and wearing an overcoat and cravat, sprayed on the wall behind him is the legend "SMASH BUSH" - as ever, Morrisey is beyond the narrow concerns of politics. Like Bowie, Morrisey is probably rather reactionary is party political terms, but is entirely radical in another sense, as a self-fashioned aesthete.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors CD., 18 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
Never been an absolute fan of Morrissey but was very impressed with " You are the Quarry". To date,this does'nt come close,but seems to warm-up in the second-half of the cd. I will persevere, and give a further report at a later date!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors, 26 April 2006
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
Some artists can do no wrong. Morrissey is not one of them. Johnny Marr might have been, but not Morrissey, and that's why his solo career has been so patchy. To my mind, Morrissey (indeed, The Smiths when he was with them too) has always been more of a singles man than an albums one (with Your Arsenal and Vauxhall & I being slight exceptions, and even the latter, in my opinion, has a few ropey self-indulgent moments). Which is what makes Ringleader of the Tormentors so special: spurred on by Visconti, Morrissey has actually produced a proper album, rather than three or four great songs interspersed with a few mediocre ones, such as on the last album, You Are the Quarry (with Irish Blood English Heart, First of the Gang to Die, Let Me Kiss You and I Like You all being great, but the rest just serviceable). This is a different story.

Like all great albums, this requires a few listens before you appreciate it. It did me. Had to listen through a couple of times, pick a few songs at random to listen to, before I thought "hang on a minute, this album is actually great!" Morrissey's wit-tempered-morbidity is in fine fettle, as good as ever, but what sets this album apart from his others is the music. The arrangements are muscular, they're layered and much, much richer than ever before. THAT's what makes this album so good. The richness of the music, the orchestration, the variety of instrumenatation, all mean this album reveals more the more you listen to it, and so has far greater longevity in the old record collection than some of his albums. Some of Visconti's input is inspired: the kid's choir chanting in the background in both "The Youngest was The Most Loved" and "The Father Who Must Be Killed" are absolutely inspired, and make me break out in a grin, despite the homicidal nature of both songs. It's absolute genius.

Ringleader of the Tormentors is a rich, varied album (musically and lyrically). Opening with the Middle-Eastern tinged "I Will See You in Far Off Places", it moves through the elegant strings and shocking sentiment of "Dear God, Please Help Me" through the rollicking "Youngest Was The Most Loved" and "Father Who Must Be Killed" to the epic 7-minute wonder that is "Life Is A Pigsty" and closes with the wonderfully uplifting "At Last I Am Born", which vies with "Vauxhall & I"'s "Speedway" for the crown of Morrissey's best album closer.

Obviously, that's not to say it's flawless. The second half of the album is not as good as the first, and lacks a standout track. Indeed, a couple don't really distinguish themselves and one should probably have been cut out to stop the last half from dragging ever so slightly. None of the individual songs here are as immediately catching as the first 3 singles from "You Are the Quarry" (but being more musically complex, they probably wouldn't be). Other than that, it's a great album. Morrissey's lyrics are as good as ever (though I can't say I get all the fuss about Morrissey suddenly being interested in sex. Surely Morrissey has been referring to sex - obliquely or otherwise - for years and years? ("Handsome Devil"?)

Anyway, as I say, none of the tracks are as immediate as any from the last album, but overall and as a whole this a better, more rounded, more listenable album. It takes a listen or two, but it is almost certainly the best of his solo career.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work- get it!!, 14 May 2006
By 
Mr Impact (North West UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
Morrissey's strongest solo work to date. Has a thematic coherence and consistency of quality that make it an album that u listen to over & over. In Visconti he has clearly found his optimal producer. The songs are driven by a powerful production base that conveys a stong mood and brings out the essence of what this artist is trying to project.

Even if M is not ur cup of tea, well worth giving this a listen.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Just Want To See The Boy Happy, 1 April 2006
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
Oh Morrissey - Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey you tormentor you!!!!
After weeks of waiting - the day arrived, new Moz album day...oh such a sweet day...Nearly crashed my car getting to the shop to buy this album...risked being fired from sneaking outta work early under some false pretenses...nearly snapped the arm of the shop assistant...gimme! gimme! gimme!...now! now! now!...it's better be worth it - me thinks...
Conclusion - Is it even possible to outdo nay outshine everything previous??? (Morrissey songs could be my subject on Mastermind)
Well trust me, he has. All the stops have been pulled out... Its beyond fantastic...
Best album by far...and that says it all really...
Should be a complusory buy for everyone, should be given to new sprogs at birth (set em on the right track)...It simply doesnt get better than 'I Will See You In Far Off Places' or 'Life Is A Pigsty' it just doesnt...
BUY BUY BUY!
Am I tormented?? oh yes. Very.
Mags.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Morrissey is king of my little world, 21 Mar. 2013
By 
Monica (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in cynical celebrity throwaway times, she bought this cd, and everything changed. Thank you Morrissey as always xx
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quality, 30 Jun. 2007
By 
C. Chalk - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ringleader Of The Tormentors (Audio CD)
I only bought this album because it was so cheap and Morrissey had a famous name - but I'm so pleased with it I would now pay triple the price. I love Morrisseys soaring, warbling voice - fantastic to try to repeat in the shower and that must be good for your vocal chords and hormonal well being. Morrisseys minimalist lyrics just glow in their unashamed banality. There seems to be a common theme of approaching death but of still being the same and needing to love. The keystone piece for me is 'Life is a PigSty'. If feels like an epic journey through love and death, Dr Zhivago condensed into a rich 7 minutes. If this had been used as a funeral dirge in a popular film like '4 weddings and a funeral' it would now be etched into the nations consciousness, Morrissey would have a CBE and 'Life is a PigSty' be would be an everyday phrase of common use.
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