Years of Refusal

Written by: PP on 17/02/2009 13:52:33

Two years after the release of "Ringleader of The Tormentors", The Smiths frontman Morrissey is at it once again with his ninth solo album "Years of Refusal". Now he's been around for such a long time now that whenever you pop in his newest release you know exactly what to expect: mid-paced pop rock anthems twisted with a classic rock twinge, relaxed vocals and a lurking catchyness to the songs underneath the surface that's much more rewarding on the sixth listen than on the first. So if you've heard previous Morrissey work, "Years Of Refusal" is a continuation of his work with few, if any, new elements brought in to the mix, so you know exactly what to expect.

But since Morrissey does the dark pop rock better than most artists out there, it's no biggie that he isn't interested in huge leaps of artistic evolution. After all, it's nice to have some artists delivering the same safe and sound formula album after album, so you know where to go when you're feeling like certain type of music. Anyway, "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" does have an unexpectedly fast pace for a Morrissey song, and "All You Need Is Me" has an unusually low-tuned bass-line in the beginning. But "When Last I Spoke To Carol" brings back the familiar melancholic, nostalgic mood of Morrissey, nominating it as one of the best tracks on the album. A hard contestant can be found in "It's Not Your Birthday Anymore", a lyrically dark anthem that really brings Morrissey's fantastic voice into highlight. He's always been at his best when he sings from the top of his lungs, and indeed the best songs on "Years of Refusal" showcase just that. Other than that, there isn't much more to say about Morrissey's classic pop rock approach. He's managed to keep his musical output relevant throughout several decades, perhaps because his sound is so unique (I define it as sentimental rock), and "Years of Refusal" is no exception.


Download: When Last I Spoke To Carol, It's Not Your Birthday Anymore
For the fans of: The Smiths, The Cure
Listen: Myspace

Release date 16.02.2009
Decca Records

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