Friday, July 1, 2011

295. Meat is Murder. Militant Vegetarianism.

Album: Meat is Murder
Artist: The Smiths
Genre: Pop
Year: 1985


1. The Headmaster Ritual
2. Rusholme Ruffians
3. I Want The One I Can't Have
4. What She Said
5. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
6. Nowhere Fast
7. Well I Wonder
8. Barbarism Begins At Home
9. Meat Is Murder

Sometimes I don’t like an album and I can’t put my finger on why. There have been releases I’ve heard that have had all the ingredients I like in music but for some reason don’t move me at all. There’s no reason why I don’t like Big Star but I just can’t see what the attraction is.

Thankfully I don’t have to worry about putting my finger on what I don’t like about The Smiths: his name is Morrissey. If the Smiths had another lead singer I'd probably quite like them. But sadly they stuck with Morrissey and as a result they annoy me intently.

While he’s a prat all throughout this album’s running length there is no better example of how annoying he can be than on Barbarism Begins at Home which will be Exhibit A if I ever get the chance to prosecute Morrissey in court. Barbarism starts of promisingly with a good steady rock beat, some funky bass and some ringing guitar churning out a catchy riff. It promises good things to come and sunny days ahead. But then Morrissey appears like a storm-cloud on the horizon. At around the 45 second mark he starts singing and initially lulls you into something approaching a false sense of security with some fairly conventional singing. When the chorus comes around he makes up for lost time with some intensely annoying vocals. “A crack on the head is what you get for not asking, and a crack on the head is what you get for asking” is sung with the word "asking" drifting off into an annoying Morrissey-float where he lets the notes wander off wherever they like. But then to make matters worse he tops things off with a series of annoying “Yip” noises which have no place in music of any kind. Morrissey is clearly a big fan of his ability to Yip and he lets loose with lots more throughout the rest of the song. At the three minute mark the band starts to jam and get a really good rhythm going. Tragically Morrissey is one of those singers who think his voice is an instrument and he proceeds to screw the whole thing up by scat singing over the top with a pointless ethereal wailing as if he’s the ghost of crap songs past, present and future. For a full two minutes he makes cloying “diddle de daw” noises proving he has an impressive vocal range with which to sound terrible in. Finally at around the five minute mark he either wanders off or else is beaten into silence by someone in the studio. The rest of the track features the band jamming without a single yip from their clown of a lead singer and is easily the highlight of the entire album which .

The Smiths ladies and gentlemen, lets never speak of them again.

Influenced by: Footage of abattoirs and a belief that your band only sounds good if you're singing over the top of them.
Influenced: Lots of British kids in the eighties who felt dissafected.

Highlight: The bits without Morrissey.
Lowlight: The bits with Morrissey.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Rain rolls off the backsides of passing thought - I thought you'd never come. 3:23 in the AM and I am smoking way too much these days. Tone and timbre seeped into my belly and those memories it kicked up have yet to lay back down and be good! Red wine in white ceramic mugs, smooth as ever, fingers wander fondle there! I thought you'd never get here."

-Righty Ho. Thanks for that.

So is this album as tasty as a porterhouse steak or murder to listen to? Let me know below.

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