Lonely in Barcelona
A photo from, according to this forum, 2005. So as not derail the threads where people are liking the new songs and awaiting the new record with anticipation and excitement, I wonder if anyone besides me sees rock, in terms of Morrissey's music, dying with the arrival of Gustavo Manzur and Morrissey's musical direction of the past three or so years. Query: is Morrissey a rock n' roll artist anymore?
For someone who in his youth loved the New York Dolls, the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, et al., the recent sound seems like an abandonment of principle. Not that Morrissey ever wallowed in sleaze or punk, but the Smiths were a guitar-bass-drums-vocal group (I like the line in Autobiography where he opines that the first album "ought to have been a dangerous blow from the buckle-end of a belt"), and after a recovery from the polished and poppish Stephen Street / Kill Uncle years, Morrissey's music kept to the rock blueprint from Your Arsenal to Years of Refusal. Maybe he should never have added a keyboardist in the first place. I don't know, but when I listen to boppy and synth-y songs like "Earth is the Loneliest Planet" or "Spent the Day in Bed," it's disappointing. I still think Low in High School has some very good songs ("Israel," "The Girl From Tel Aviv," "I Bury the Living," "When You Open Your Legs") and I trust I Am Not a Dog on a Chain will, too, but the production will be clean and bright again, and it seems like the Manzur effect will be even more pronounced. I think rock does die.