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You Are the Quarry by Morrissey

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Reviewed on 17th June 2004.


You Are the Quarry

By Morrissey

The release of "You are the Quarry" sees Morrissey's 7th solo album proper and a 7 year wait to follow up his last, virtually ignored release "Maladjusted". The album has had a frenetic marketing drive behind it compared to previous offerings; chat shows, radio interviews, countless magazine features have driven this album into the public consciousness and top of the charts.

Lyrically this album is more than a notch or two higher than most albums you will hear this year and at times both venomous and hilarious in equal measure. The first track "America is not the world" sets the tone seeing Mozzer focussing on his now home, the US of A, "Where the president is never black, female or gay" and "You know where you can shove your hamburger". Great stuff, and is a small example of his lyrical prowess, which is constant throughout the album.

Musically "You are the Quarry" is a cross between Morrissey's previous best works "Viva Hate", "Vauxhall and I" and (a smattering of) "Your Arsenal" and this is where the small criticisms come in. You never feel that it reaches places that his previous LPs haven't done before and is always playing safe. Take the first single "Irish blood, English Heart", his biggest hit for years, but it could have been lifted straight from 1992's Your Arsenal and ultimately is Morrissey by numbers. Some unfamiliar listeners may regard the use of electronic drums to be a step forward and they are littered on this LP, but listen to "Viva Hate" and you would soon realise this too is familiar ground.

You get the feeling that Morrissey knows what he wants to hear from long-term collaborators (and guitarists) Alan Whyte and Boz Boorer and is reluctant to change dramatically this late into his career. But still you can't argue with the fact that "You are the Quarry" reaches the parts other younger angst ridden indie wannabes just can't reach.

This album is up there with his best, but from past experience unless a Morrissey album is good, it's rubbish, and this one is definitely the former. "You are the Quarry" undoubtedly has brought Morrissey back to the forefront after nearly 10 years on the periphery proven by his homecoming show in Manchester selling out in hours. Morrissey can once again be proclaimed ever popular and very relevant.



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