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Mordant of Manchester charms this man
on 15 January 2003
David Bowie once described Morrissey as one of the great songwriters of his generation. He was not wrong. Mordant wit, mocking (but somehow sympathetic) self-pity and blunting satire signify the best of his lyrics. Mozzer is the romantic poet of the sub-ordinary, and when he can twist a cute line around a compelling melody he is irresistible. His knack of working with creative instrumental talents helps of course, though not everything here lives up to those legendary collaborations with Johnny Marr. Still, there are a number of tracks on this useful overview of the post-Smiths years that breathe the same air. 'Suedehead' is a strong starter, for example, and 'Everyday Is Like Sunday' is exorciatingly beautiful, in spite - or perhaps because of - the distant, boomy production. The other standouts include 'You're the One for Me, Fatty' (an anthem for the unaspirational), 'We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful' (an ideal antidote to the age of guileless celebrity), and the menacing melancholia of 'The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get.' Not everything on this album works, but it contains some fine cameos. I'll five-star it for the finest and ignore the blemishes.