Years of Refusal
This may or may not be a return to form for Morrissey. I've been told by those who listen to Mozz with regularity that it is. Based on reviews I've seen elsewhere, I'm inclined to believe that is the case. But it really doesn't matter to me if it is a return to form, because I've never liked Morrissey, whether he was on form or not. In The Smiths, a band I can't quite bring myself to love, he was balanced out by Marr's expert musicianship, and he didn't seem quite so under the impression that the world is against him. That's really my problem with Morrissey as he is now. Nowhere else in popular music is there someone capable of writing a lyric like, "I'm throwing my arms around Paris, because only stone and steel accept my love," and I don't mean that as a compliment. It takes a special kind of egocentric to so fully embrace loneliness, and to do it simply so he has something to complain about. It begs the question, at this point in his life, how has he not realised he's the root of his problems? Maturing emotionally involves reaching a point where you can accept the blame for your own actions. On the cover of this album, you'll find a small child being held by a big fuckin' baby.
*If you aren't morally opposed to Morrissey as he is now, it's a C+. If you actively like him, it's a B.