On his 11th studio album,Low in High School, Morrissey’s distinctive and instantly recognisable voice sounds as powerful as ever but this could be one for his die-hard fans
Review by Adrian Peel
A divisive and often controversial figure, Morrissey has nevertheless done very well to remain in the public eye for so long, and to still be regarded as a ‘relevant’ artist, one who commands a huge global fanbase which seems to hang on his every word.
Low in High School is the 58-year-old Lancastrian’s eleventh studio album, his first since 2014’s World Peace Is None of Your Business. Produced by Joe Chiccarelli and recorded in France and Italy, it contains 12 tracks and the cover art features a young boy outside Buckingham Palace holding an axe in one hand and a sign in the other saying “Axe the Monarchy”. Business as usual, then.
“My Love, I’d Do Anything for You”, the opening track, is suitably dark and downbeat. Though not great, it does feature some nice horns and Morrissey’s distinctive and instantly recognisable voice sounds as powerful as ever.
I quite liked the lilting and quaintly English “Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage” and “Home Is A Question Mark” has a pleasant melody. Toe-tapping first single “Spent the Day in Bed” is rather fun, despite its bleak observations: “I recommend that you stop watching the news because the news contrives to frighten you.”
Better are the tango-esque “The Girl from Tel Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel” and the beautifully sung “Israel”.
Not a bad effort by any means, though some of the tracks are pretty heavy going, musically and lyrically, and the melodies are somewhat lacking overall, compared to the extremely high standards previously set by the artist. This is perhaps one for the die-hards only.