As Saint Paul once said; "It's a motherfucking grower, is what."
Anyway, the album starts with America Is Not The World. As album openers go, it's up there with, well, The Queen Is Dead, in fact. It almost has the aura of a marching tune about it, with its rolling drumbeat and so on, and maybe it is. Maybe it's Morrissey's Battle Hymn Of The New Republic, the New Republic being this one here with the 12 songs about how fucking amazing this New Republic has turned out to be.
Again, Steven, you really shouldn't have.
Historically, the most endearing element of picking up the latest Morrissey has been to see what the hell mad song titles he's came up with this time. Third song in, we get a title fit for a beheaded king, via the brilliantly arrogant I Have Forgiven Jesus. Here, Steven seems to accept his lot, finally, if only for a brief verse or two, and says, Y'know what man? I guess there ain't a big deal I can do about the whole bizarre individual I ended up. Thanks anyway, Jesus, but I wish you'd taken a little more time.
That seems to be the jist of it all.
He just seems a bit annoyed, is all, that the star of Mel Gibson's Passionate has gone and made him all lustful and so on, when at the same time he made poor Morrissey so idiosyncratic and quiet and damn well… picky, that he can't act out these lustful notions.
In other words;
"I have forgiven Jesus,
For all the desire he placed in me,
When there's nothing I can do,
No-one does grandiose self-pity like Morrissey. No-one takes adolescent whimpering and turns it into such arrestingly anguished howls of middle-aged resign. So glorious is his word-play, that you don't even stop to think, "Come on, how many more songs can we hear about that damn court case?"
Incidentally, plenty seems to be the answer.
Come Back To Camden is a lilting plea for someone or other to get back to this little slab of London, where "Taxi drivers never stop talking, under slate-grey Victorian sky." It's a romanticised view of London that has found fresh advocates in the likes of The Libertines, and which reached a pinnacle with The Pogues' The Old Main Drag, the most achingly, hauntingly beautiful song about getting paid for hand-jobs that you ever did hear.
The World Is Full Of Crushing Bores takes its cue from Paint A Vulgar Picture, one of the many stand-outs on The Smith's final, underrated masterpiece, Strangeways Here I Come. Here, we get Morrissey's vitriolic bile directed towards ;