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You Are The Quarry

4.4 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 May 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca - Pop
  • ASIN: B0001XLXHK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,975 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product description

Amazon.co.uk

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

BBC Review

While the likes of Celine Dion have opted for early retirement, forever serenading icebergs in Vegas hotels, you couldn't accuse Steven Patrick Morrissey of pocketing an easy pension. As the figurehead of 80s super-droops The Smiths, his iconic rise and reverence was too bright a fire to maintain. And so he fell, daring to dissolve his partnership with Johnny Marr and strike out upon a solo career. He's been berated for it ever since.

You Are The Quarry marks his first new album since 1997's Maladjusted, often lumped alongside 1995's Southpaw Grammar as the moment the milk curdled. Not so. Morrissey, like Madonna (both star attractions in a municipal zoo, alternately praised then pelted with loose change), has never veered far from a core manifesto. In his case, I hurt: therefore I am. Only the musicians, arrangements or locations have changed (he famously fled Manchester for Los Angeles).

Petulant, maudlin, terrifically dour, this latest collection could just as well have tumbled from the diary of a Prozac-addled teen, albeit in the suit of a 45 year-old man from Davyhulme.

Dispelling accusations of cultural treachery and nationalism, he fires a two-fingered salute to the US and the UK with "America Is Not The World" and "Irish Blood, English Heart". 'I'm dreaming of a time when / To be English is not to be baneful / To be standing by the flag not feeling shameful, racist or partial' states Morrissey, referring to his notorious cavorting with the Union Jack in 1992.

"I'm Not Sorry", purposely pricks the fruit of sexual ambiguity; 'The woman of my dreams / She never came along / The woman of my dreams / There never was one'.

Thankfully Morrissey's blunt, Northern vowels also remain intact, witness "First Of The Gang To Die". A track that drips romanticised disaffection, the very reason we first clutched his quiff to our hearts.

A gentleman's misanthrope, "The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" marries a camp sensibility with a swipe at Pop Idol identi-clones; 'Thicker than pig shit' apparently. He sums up his birthright and back catalogue within "Come Back To Camden" ('Under slate grey Victorian sky / Here you will find / Despair and I'). It's an identity that he recognises is irreversibly commoditised; 'There's a cash register ringing / It weighs so heavy on my back...The critics who / Can't break you / They somehow help to make you' ("You Know I Couldn't Last").

Ultimately, this would represent a return to form had he ever fallen, but an overdue amnesty is more likely the reason for the warmth of response thus far. In a lyrical coincidence reminiscent of Craig David's cocksure prattle, the last word belongs, as always, to Morrissey himself: 'Monday - humiliation, Tuesday - suffocation, Wednesday - condescension, Thursday - is pathetic...' ("I Have Forgiven Jesus"). Welcome home our kid. Now go to your room and stay there! --Bren O'Callaghan

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Customer Reviews

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Classic Morrissey
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If you like Morrisey - just don't hesitate over this album would be my advice. A slow burner, it took me a couple of listens before certain tracks really started to stand out - with excellent lyrics, astonishing vocal delivery and impressive production. Then the others started to take me by the lapels as well. The entire album is absolutely splendid and will repay the purchase price many times over. It has been constantly in my player for the last 4 weeks and I expect it to remain undislodged for some time to come! Wonderful.
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Morrissey's post-Smiths solo career has been a troubled one to say the least, moving from the sublime pop-joys of Viva Hate, through to the problematic follow up Kill Uncle, and then off into the realms of pure genius with the doubled-headed Your Arsenal and Vauxhall and I... It was around this time however that Morrissey's reputation began to wane, with right-on journalists (and the NME) mistaking the ironic underpinning of songs like Bengali in Platforms, Asian Rut, and The National Front Disco as latent racism, attacking Morrissey's choice of subject matter, and his growing infatuation with supposed-nationalist iconography, and pretty much missing the point of his work entirely. Thus, two progressive-rock albums followed (Southpaw Grammar & Maladjusted) to almost universal disdain, before the singer absconded to America... leaving tabloid thugs like Oasis to be idolised as the saviours of modern-rock.
Now, after a break of seven-years, Morrissey has finally returned with possibly the greatest album of his career... eschewing the sound of the past for something slightly more contemporary, invigorated and direct. The record-sleeve is a clear reflection of this new, up-front mentality, acting as the most candid statement that Morrissey has ever put across... posed with his Thompson machine gun, decked out in a sharper-than-sharp suit, and with a quizzical grin on his face, it is clear that Morrissey is quite literally on the 'attack' and is gunning for the quarry without humility or remorse.
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This was the first solo album of Morrissey's I have bought. I have been mostly put off by his other attempts much preferring to listen to past Smiths albums. However, hearing the two singles of Irish Blood and First of the Gang, I was impressed. The album hasn't disappointed me, though there is a noticeable difference between this and the Smiths. The lyrics are fantastic; however, they do lack the subtly of his past triumphs. America is the not the World might put off some, but I quite like it with hilarious lyrics like ' hey you, you big fat pig' and saying America will be fine 'for haven't you me with you now'. Irish Blood does speak to me personally with strong lyrics and guitars.
'I have forgiven you Jesus' is good and probably draws you in after a few listenings. Come Back to Camden has interesting lyrics and is familarly melancholy though is not not my favourite. The weakest songs might be I'm not Sorry, How can Anybody Possibly know How I feel? and All the Lazy Dykes, although they do add something to the album. Most would agree that the World is Full of Crashing Bores is good and the attacks on the usual policemen, taxmen etc are catchy.
First of the Gang is superb. I couldn't stop singing this for weeks with its fantastic chorus. My other favourites are Let Me Kiss You and I Like You. Many say these are the weaker links of the album but Morrissey's voice is sublime through these songs. Let Me Kiss You also has brilliant guitar, probably the best on the album. I Like You is simple and refreshingly upbeat with lyrics of 'I like you because you're not right in the head and nor am I', which you find yourself singing hours afterwards.
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Early Morrissey and The Smiths never figured on my radar, so I'm not speaking for the obviously dedicated fan base. I once found him unconvincing, like a sixth-former with a manufactured trendy conscience putting on a pretend voice.
But this album... yes, Morrissey is just as miserable but, to the uninitiated like me, the owner of a very dry wit and, dare I say it, an absolutely stunning voice, best demonstrated in The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores.
I can't say I agree with some of his extreme sentiments here, but it is hard to dismiss his sincerity. It is refreshing at last to have something to listen to that combines good music, great lyrics, and an opinion.
And, just to add insult to injury, the old misery is one of those rare lucky devils who actually looks better with age.
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Morrissey has hibernated seemingly dormant in Los Angeles without a recording contract for several years, but he now emerges refreshed like a boxer with a fresh gum shield. This album is a slice of Morrissey's recent life and he has returned to a similar level of wit and Wildean comment last seen in the early days of his solo career. This album feels very complete. There is the obligatory anti-America-but-not-really track, the record company angst, the Hispanic influence of his adopted home and a general sense of Englishness running through each song like a stick of Brighton rock. This album is a fantastic new contribution to the Morrissey canon with a cover photograph worthy of Dorian Gray. Please don't let us wait so long next time Mozza - you can last!
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