Thursday, April 19, 2012

216. The Queen is Dead.

Album: The Queen is Dead
Artist: The Smiths
Year: 1986
Genre: Rock


1. The Queen Is Dead
2. Frankly, Mr. Shankly
3. I Know It's Over
4. Never Had No One Ever
5. Cemetry Gates
6. Bigmouth Strikes Again
7. The Boy with the Thorn in His Side
8. Vicar in a Tutu
9. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

 There is a certain type of person who thinks the world can be divided into three types of people: those who love The Smiths, those who haven't heard them yet and drooling cretins whose brain-freezing stupidity makes them too thick to appreciate any quality music at all.

The religious fervour of the average Smiths fan can be attributed to a tendency to worship Morrissey to the point where he's held up as a messiah figure who doesn't just write lyrics he writes the truth and then sings it directly into your soul. Moz (as he's affectionately known) is what divides Smiths fans from the rest of us. He's vegemite spread liberally over bread and butter of The Smiths rock and roll- if you love him it's great and if you don't he's enough to turn you off the whole thing. The Queen is Dead is generally held up as Morrissey's Sermon the Mount, Feeding of the five thousand and stroll across the water. It's his claim to godlike status and the holy grail to be handed to those who need converting to the church of The Smiths.

Having heard The Queen Is Dead several times through I can't say it's converted me to become one of the faithful. Morrissey's lyrics are definitely a cut above most eighties music but they're not life changing and, while I'm no English expert, if this is the height of poetry then literature contains much shallower peaks than I'd been previously led to imagine. At least on The Queen is Dead Morrissey sounds like the lead singer of a band rather than an ego deposited onto the backing tracks of some other musicians. It's a set of songs that make for more enjoyable listening than the other Smiths on this countdown which to be honest were painful at best, but it's not enough to make this sceptic a true believer.

Highlight: Frankly, Mr Shankly
Lowlight: Vicar in a Tutu (great name though)

Influenced by: Republicanism
Influenced: English boys of a certain age.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Morrissey's writing is basically everything wrong with "smart" rock lyrics, obtuse to a point that their own narrative cryptology overshadows the sensations and emotions at the heart of the events. "

-There's no doubt The Smiths reviews are a cut above "This is a must-have" or "If you like this you must be gay" reviews that often popular Amazon.

So is the Queen dead or alive and kicking? Let me know below.

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