Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Album review: Morrissey, World Peace Is None of Your Business

Posted By on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Fans will be happy to know that, after a five-year wait since his last album was released, Morrissey hasn't lost a bit of his venom, his acerbic tone or his desire to be a perennial thorn in the side of the world. World Peace Is None of Your Business, the 10th and latest in the solo Moz catalog is another fine example of what those who rank themselves as believers and devout followers of the controversial and outspoken vocalist have come to love him for.

Hardly one to mellow or lessen the fire that's always raged inside of him, the ex-Smiths lead singer and songwriter offers no shortage of the vitriol, facetiousness or witty wordplay. The opening cut and title track is classic Morrissey: clever, inventive and droll. It serves as a perfect vehicle for all his detractors over the years who've misunderstood his message, the tune dripping with the overt sarcasm his fans will relish in as thoroughly as non-believers will lambaste him for.

Morrissey's vocal delivery is about as self-assured and confident as it's ever been throughout the album's 12 tracks. As he softly and tenderly wisps his way through the lullaby-like strains of "I'm Not A Man" — a vindictive condemnation of inflated machismo — he quietly lulls you in before driving the song into heavier and more aggressive territory and, in turn, cranking up the belligerence in his impassioned and fiery ranting.

The true crooner that lives inside Morrissey gets plenty of opportunities to emerge throughout World Peace...; breezy, lilting "The Bullfighter Dies" is an homage to the bulls who are mercilessly slaughtered for sport around the world, and finds Moz delivering some of the most flawless vocal work he's ever committed to wax. "Kiss Me A Lot," drenched in gorgeous Flamenco guitars and boasting sparkling horn arrangements, is arguably one of the most accomplished and stunning tracks to ever appear on a Morrissey solo album.

Always a master of irony and verbal mockery, Moz makes sure to remind us that he hasn't softened in his advancing years. "Kick the Bride Down the Aisle" is proof positive. A complete and unmistakable dig at the conventions of marriage and particularly, of the lazy conniving wife condemned throughout the song, is a perfect example of the type of scorn that is so common in Morrissey's work. The fact that he can still deliver such well-written, biting commentary within a pop song and seemingly straddle the line between messiah and misanthrope is still his greatest gift, and he's razor-sharp form all throughout this superb album.

Critics' Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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