THE importance of Morrissey's
brilliant 2004 stage comeback
You are the Quarry cannot be
understated, proving as it did
that he can successfully navigate
the path between the cutting
edge of alternative rock and his
current role as elder statesman.
Indeed, Quarry was so successful that Ringleader of the
Tormentors seems to have arrived a little too swiftly on its heels. I don't
know if Morrissey is still basking in the glow of the former's success, but there's
something a little formulaic about this latest effort -- not that that would
be discernible to new listeners, of
You Have Killed Me is a little
nugget of quintessential Morrissey, a wickedly addictive number beefed up with acerbically
self-contradicting lyrics. I Will See
You in Far Off Places is spicy and
languid, while Dear God Please
Help Me is frankly confessional.
Even the likes of To Me You Were
a Work of Art and The Youngest
Was the Most Loved merit repeat
listens, but how many?
This record entertains, but
never grabs a listener by the
scruff of the neck to demand
attention. It's an effort best
described by two oxymorons
Morrissey would probably be
proud of -- it's typically bizarre
and strangely familiar.