Moz_LEAD

We can all accept that Morrissey is possibly modern history’s single best reincarnation of Narcissus. His dedicated fanbase even enjoys it. Recently, his self-absorbed vanity has aged like a fine wine into crotchety old curmudgeon territory, giving his hatred of everyone and everything a uniquely pretentious quality. This bitter old man element is especially strong on about half of World Peace is None of Your Business‘ standard edition, while the rest is reserved for apt story-telling (the deluxe edition extra tracks add an additional mixed bag of the same):

World Peace is None of Your Business

Even when touting a fairly 99%-er, anti-police state ideology that most of us can get behind, Morrissey irritates. Perhaps it’s the irrelevant snide hook, or the fact that his solution to all of the world’s troubles is a juvenile abstinence from voting. Yet somehow, we’re the “fools:” [LISTEN]

"World Peace is None of Your Business"

Neal Cassady Drops Dead

Classy – armed with a “Jingle Bells/Batman smells” level of wit, Morrissey goes for beat poets and counter-culture icons long deceased but still far more influential than himself. After that, he rhymes “babies” with “rabies” and “scabies.” What an absolute genius:

Neal Cassady Drops Dead

I’m Not a Man

Morrissey’s attack on conventional “manliness” differs from tracks with a similar message – in that it wouldn’t be complete without his standard self-praise and hypocrisy. Sure, Morrissey, you’d never “kill or eat an animal” – but you’ll wear one, because there’s “just no substitute for leather:

I'm Not a Man

Istanbul

And then a breath of fresh air. Over some decent down-tuned guitar riffs, Morrissey tells a worldly story of a father searching for his son. Without the bitter taste that his usual bitching leaves in your mouth, this track shows he can still write some really good songs: [LISTEN]

Instanbul

Earth is the Loneliest Planet

The mid-album quality streak continues with his more likable vintage wheelhouse – pre-emo complaints of romantic difficulty due to cruel peers, only this time he’s lamenting the effect it has on all of us. It’s not incredibly poetic, but it’s universal, despite the whine factor: [LISTEN]

Earth is the Loneliest Planet

Staircase at the University

It didn’t require 5.5 minutes and 200 words to say “this girl is under pressure and studying a lot” in song form, but “Staircase…” goes for thoroughness, and not a lyric goes by without repetition. It’s probably not going to appeal to stressed-out coeds like our protagonist, but someone will dig it:

Staircase at the University

The Bullfighter Dies

Morrissey picks a very strange metaphor for himself as the the under-appreciated beauty king perpetually persecuted by grotesque normies like you and me - an animal-slaying matador. Didn’t he *just* say he’d never kill or eat an animal?: [LISTEN]

The Bullfighter Dies

Kiss Me a Lot

Morrissey gives “Besame Mucho” the “Green Eggs and Ham” treatment with an English translation (and without the original’s melancholic “for I may lose you afterwards” line). It’s cheesy, but harmless. Also, it’s worth noting his session musicians have been impeccable all album: [LISTEN]

Kiss Me a Lot

Smiler with Knife

As an acoustic driven assisted suicide ballad centered around a “knife,” this pretty track is the best on the album so far. The claves and miscellaneous world percussion aren’t necessary, but maintain the international feel he’s peppered throughout the album:

Smiler with Knife

Kick the Bride Down the Aisle

Morrissey’s nuptial disdain falls squarely on the bride, painting her a lazy gold-digger and “slave”-driver. Many a marriage like this exists, but ignoring the opposite situation of a blame-worthy groom hints: maybe his past sexual choices are a result of misogyny and possibly some mommy issues: [LISTEN]

Smiler with Knife

Mountjoy

Ah, there’s the Morrissey signature – superficial name-calling with bombs like “three-foot half-wit” and “human sewage,” and exhibiting the very cruelty he complains about in previous tracks. Self-absorption makes some sense, but it’s puzzling how he could be so ignorant of his own hypocrisy:

Mountjoy

Oboe Concerto

What old man can’t crotchet away without nostalgia for the good old days, back when Morrissey was still bitching about his mistreatment, but had more famous friends to listen. He’s the angry windbag unwinding with a glass of wine, but his rose-colored glasses come with a side of bitterness:

Oboe Concerto