Asexual, aloof, tortured and yearning to break free from the humdrum chains of daily life, Irish transplant Sean Patrick Morrissey, lyrical formulator for influential pre-Britpop monoliths The Smiths, has had a distinguished career as a solo artist.
Viva Hate, his 1988 debut, weaves tales of a beheaded Margaret Thatcher, incendiary tonsorial artists and insincere streets while doling advice to an impressionable Bengali.
Cauterizing wit, possibly a byproduct for his affinity for Oscar Wilde, allows him to isolate and verbalize political hypocrisy that chafes us, on both continents.
His influence is far-reaching. Few Brits will tell you he hasn't touched their lives in one way or another, and a majority of Americans would probably fall into agreement. The swaggering rockabilly, gladiola bearing, quasi homosexual/androgynous, self-deprecating crooner has re-arrived.
Vauxhall and I, Bona Drag, Kill Uncle, Your Arsenal, and Viva Hate are precursors for his release, You Are The Quarry. As a person bestowed with the gift of extraordinary analytical perception, it seems that his recent relocation to LA would be counter-productive to what he seeks in life and at times be too much for him to bear. In true style, it has shown its fruit in a new album, a venting on the suppression of the Latino community, the capitalistic tyranny and hypocrisy of the US and homage to his genealogical roots. A hit list including 'America is Not the World,' 'Irish Blood, English Heart and 'First Of The Gang To Die' have already topped the charts. Like a good wine (and cliche, dialed), Morrissey is proof some things just get better with age.
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