2009 Attack/Lost Highway
Morrissey’s latest album, Years of Refusal definitely has its moments. At first glance, the album’s gaudy cover art screams train wreck and instills a deep fear in most any Morrissey fan. Moz is smirking and dressed in Fred Perry, holding a godlessly ugly baby. Both are clad in decorative body art; the baby has a butterfly on “his” forehead while Morrissey sports a scar-like ornate caterpillar on his right forearm. Still hanging on to your inner child? Not phased by your graying hair or widening jaw? Perhaps another metaphor we’ll all look back on and understand, but as of now many of us stand confused.
In 1987, as a member of The Smiths, Morrissey sang “I come to wish you an unhappy birthday” and twenty two years later he hits us with a hilariously devastating track It’s Not Your Birthday Anymore. In this song he talks of how he owes the birthday subject nothing since it’s not his or her birthday anymore. I found it confusing and humorous to think one could flip-flop on their birthday wishes, whether they’re for the same person or not. You Were Good in Your Time sounds like typical self-deprecating Morrissey trying to pass off a career funeral for something that could easily fit the description of a song about a trusty pet who recently passed. The album ends in two very intense songs: Sorry Doesn’t Help and I’m OK By Myself. Both songs leave you feeling personally affected but somehow empowered by a blast of reality.