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Morrissey
Years Of Refusal
Attack/Lost Highway Records
www.itsmorrisseysworld.com


Writing decades of music can lead to either of a couple of different paths at some point; artists can take the path of good or travel the path of bad. Both are obviously subjective. Eventually, the bad path turns into a dead end and those who took it can recognize their error and take a four-wheeler back onto the path of good or just give up. Some take the good, then get hijacked and end up on the bad and then they have to figure out where they are and then... never mind. I could do this for hours.

I am of the opinion that once those artists have proven themselves over an extended period of time their fans become fickle. Unlike a newer artist who is proving themselves and laying the groundwork for future releases, older, more mature artists seem stumped. Should the artist reinvent the wheel in hopes of gaining a fresher fan base and hopefully not piss off the faithful? Or do they continue on the way they have, comfortable in the fans they do have, risking being told they are old and burned out? It's a double edge sword. You obviously can't make everyone happy but you can try. You could also just make your music and let the fans fight it out in a cage match to the death. (I really, really like that one.)

Now, what the hell am I rambling on about? Oh, yes, I remember now. I've just taken a long hard looksie at Morrissey's 2009 release, Years Of Refusal. The verdict on which path he's taken? Well, let's just say he's on the good path and he's decidedly against reinventing the wheel. Morrissey is Morrissey. If you want something new and improved; straying away from solidly depressed and seemingly annoyed lyrics and music that will still have you bouncing about while bitching about a lost love, then stay away. If you wanted him to fail, get off my lawn. It's not going to happen. Morrissey is true to his style and sound, and hopefully you'll never want him to stop being so sad. He's back again, he's still bitter, and apparently he's dabbled in some sort of psychotropic drug use judging by the first, and decidedly infectious, track "Something Is Squeezing My Skull." The music is everything you'd expect from him. The track "Miss Me When I'm Gone" was notable for lyrics, while the slower turn during "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" was a nice change of pace from the rest of the usual bopping beats. From beginning to end, he's maintained his style while creating new standards for us to sing along to.

I'm a die-hard Smiths' fan, loved Morrissey throughout the 90's, and I am far from hating him now. If you are looking for something to sneer at people in traffic in, or to drink a Bloody Mary to while you nurse a hangover, and if you long to listen to something new from someone you've grown to love over time on a rainy Sunday morning, then pick up this CD. You won't be sorry.

-Elysabeth Williams

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