Monday, February 11, 2008

Morrissey, That's How People Grow Up

Single review

Morrissey's dreadful new single That's How People Grow Up smells of desperation.

An official statement on his website begs all fans to go out en masse and propel him up to number one so that he can win "the war against the crashing bores".

Perhaps from the heights of Los Angeles Mansions and suites in top Roman hotels reality gets a bit elusive, but who past the mental age of 13 would buy a record purely so that it hits no.1 in the charts?

Not so long ago, Morrissey would have slammed as "crashing bores" those who'd give priority to "chart wars" as opposed to putting out a quality record with meaningful lyrics, memorable sleeves and -preferably- songs that save your life.

I've heard That's How People Grow Up and the fact that I can't remember a single moment of it may have something to do with its mediocre, middle of the road value. It could have been on You Are The Quarry or Ringleader, you wouldn’t have noticed.

It doesn’t help that its release coincides with yet another Greatest Hits (the 4th one in ten years if you also include a live release). And it doesn’t help that, with the cheap aim of shifting more copies, Morrissey decided to stick a 15-year-old photo of his butt cheeks on the sleeve.

What artistic value has that got, exactly? Does it really matter if you reach no.1? So that your ego can get even bigger?

Forget chart battles, Moz, and sort something out before old, loyal, fans get fed up with the same old song.

It pains me to think that perhaps the time has come for my favourite singer to gracefully knock it on the head.


Anonymous said...

quite a bit of the old mozzer-bashing going on here. just to show how inaccurate this review is, the buttcheek pic appears on the album and NOT the cdsingle.

James said...

I couldn't agree more, this is Morrissey's worst single to date. Tired - or lazy - plucked-out-of-the-air lyrics. And a lame, lame tune. Please Mozzer call it a day. You are still the greatest lyricist to grace the pop world. You are slowly, but surely trashing a blinding back catalogue.

L Matthews said...

It's a grower, this single. The first time I heard it, I flicked the power off in boredom, but as I listened the next few times it hooked me in so much I went out and bought the seven inch. Not his best, but by far not his worst.

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised when reviewers complain about Morrissey signing the same old song. He's been doing that for 15, 20 years? The idea that this is his worst single is a bit of a stretch. Have we forgotten the entire contents of Maladjusted? I agree with L Matthews...not his best, not his worst, but far from desperation. It's clear is career is doing just fine.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if the ass cheeks are the ones doing the singing, to tell the truth.

It's like he thinks that if he does a bit of sparring with the press and moans that he's so wonderful while Britney Spears is so bad that it will put an automatic stamp of quality upon his songs.

AndrewGMooney said...

I concur with the view that Morrissey's releases are diary entries, and from this release it sounds like he's a bit down in the dumps after yet another thwarted expression of romantic interest.

The marketing scams of his plugging company in trying to hype up his main 'fan'/audience site are tiresome in the extreme, but given the terminal decline of Big Music: I doubt he had any option but to concede some ground to The Man.

He needs to be careful though. His status as a legitimate 'Outsider' Artist could be seriously compromised if there's too much of these in-your-face marketing machinations.

His unedifying appeal on stage at a festival for fans to download his single right there and then to their annoying mobile phones was an egregious offence against taste and decency.

He has a serious dilemma. He craves 'global, religious Fame' yet is only a medium level celebrity. If he seriously thinks 'I could have been Elvis' then his frustration at this career plateau after the resurgent period of Your Are The Quarry must be galling in the extreme.

He's chosen a radio-friendly-unit-shifting producer again, so if that doesn't work in generating a Mass Audience, he may as well just throw caution to the winds, take an extreme experimental risk.

Who knows: He may finally get the reaction he wants/needs/craves.

I find it hard to be rational about his work, although I'm no delusional 'fan'atic.

I still hope the best is yet to come. A new song 'Something Is Crushing My Skull strikes me as a credible portent of serious creative endeavours on the next scheduled studio album later this year.

The 'Greatest Hits' is, surely, a pre-condition of his new deal, and not a project he's invested heart and soul in.

I hope he doesn't fuck it all up and destroy his legacy, but I can see why there are concerns.

I find the new single a pleasant enough 'holding operation'.Nothing earth shattering but no turkey.

Mind you, I rarely waste time or ear-space on music I dislike: There's just too much seriously fantastic music to discover and enjoy.

Morrissey is ineradicably wedded to a collapsed, secure system of 'stardom' and visible reward from 'gatekeeper' critics and press, 'official' chart placings and the like.

He simply seems like a fish out of water in the new protean time/format shifted environment of viral audience generated 'word-of-mouth'/ wisdom of crowds/kudos as exemplified by sites such as Hype Machine.

But that's his challenge. Not ours.
Kind regards.

Johnny Taronja said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Taronja said...

The point is, as a Morrissey fan I'm confident he can pull a fast one on all the critics and bounce back. Don't forget he did in the past. He had an axe to grind when The Smiths split and the product was the fab 'Viva Hate'.Remember the shoddy singles "Pregnant for The Last Time" and "My Love Life"? Well, he then delivered Your Arsenal and silenced them all. So, I mean, it's not that Morrissey suddenly turned into a jerk or something. But by his standards his most recent output has been very disappointing, including That's How People Grow Out (a more apt title :-))