Poised to strike at the very soul and bring Morrissey‘s sneery aloof world(view) crumbling down, our very own incredulous critic Sean Bw Parker pushes his subject onto the proverbial psychiatrist’s couch as he goes to work on World Peace Is None Of Your Business.

Morrissey  ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’  (Harvest)

I was sharpening my pencil listening to the new Morrissey album, ready to lacerate it to shreds, shoot it down like a Malaysian airliner in a gleeful, hate-filled, poison pen review…until I realised I really quite like it, because it’s really very good. Damn you Morrissey, you win this time, but you can’t run forever…

I remember at the end of The Smiths’ royalties’ trial the lonely high court judge brilliantly describing Stephen Patrick as ‘devious, truculent and unreliable’. Clearly he hadn’t realised Morrissey’s stock-in trade (who probably considered these adjectives compliments anyway, despite losing the case).

It must be horrible to be inside Morrissey’s head. Not only is his mentality so hate-filled, blinkered and prejudiced as to render his general subjects (the National Front; bullies; carnivores) positively progressive, but he’s getting more trenchant as he ages – he steamily reeks of crapulence.

All that said, he and his writing partner, rockabilly Boz Boorer also know well how to knock a earwormy tune together. The sledgehammer-like subtlety of the title ‘World Peace Is None Of Your Business’ (Morrissey after fucking aeons of complaining, finally reads a Chomsky essay) aside, standouts here are the positively raunchy ‘Istanbul’ (I wonder why he’s picking on my adopted city), and the classic Moz bedtime story ‘Staircase At The University’ about a girl so academically pressurised by her father that she throws herself down the aforementioned stairs, cracking her head open three ways.

After irritating the general public now for over three decades, SPM proves massive, unexamined narcissism is still a marketable tool in the social media generation with the astonishingly self-absorbed ‘I’m Not A Man’, the singer berating 50% of the world’s population for not being as sophisticated as he is. ‘Earth Is The Loneliest Planet’ is similarly clumsy – and what do I hear here? A wailing female backing vocal. She’s presumably sufficiently developed to make the cut (for a couple of ‘woo-oohs’ anyway.)

My friends say ‘hate the man, not the artist’. Indeed what choice do we have with someone who is so obstinately determined, Alan Bennett-style, to obfuscate the fact that psychological development is possible, regardless of the pricks surrounding? Beautiful touches of oboe here or accordion there cannot disguise the fact that music comes a distant second to his ‘caustic verve’, like some downtrodden, desperate, world-beaten spouse – but in the end the child wins out over the man yet again. Mr Morrissey, the doctor will see you now.

Sean Bw Parker


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