Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey. The music industry would be a much more tedious place without the brilliant, insane, self-righteous, pompous, witty, and intriguing views the ex-Smiths singers puts forward on a regular basis. What’s fascinating is his sheer will power; he’s always looking for a battle (even when there is none) and not being swayed by anyone’s opinion but his own – big mouth strikes again indeed. Where others avoid, Morrissey relishes: animal rights, politics, the monarchy, sexuality – you name it, Morrissey’s had an opinion on it, and what’s more, people listen. They may not agree but they still listen. This says a lot about the man himself and why he’s still around in the music industry today. When the singer’s on form, his music can speak to anyone at any age, bring people together, and also divide opinion instantly with a flourishing sweeping statement. This is what new album World Peace Is None of Your business does, and it does it well.
The album-titled opening track instantly starts to wag fingers: ‘Work hard, pay your taxes, never ask what for…you poor little fool’, sings Morrissey, blaming the public for its lethargy and the politicians for their wicked ways in equal measure. Set against music akin to an indie rock lullaby (with a tribal didgeridoo intro no less), this is a track Suede would have died for. Neal Cassidy Drops Dead sounds like Duran Duran crashing a poet’s party (with hats off to Morrissey for rhyming ‘babies’ and ‘rabies’), while track I’m not a Man playfully mixes in mid 90s video game sounds over intrepid musings of grandeur against stereotypical masculine views.
The singer’s mindset carries on with the varied and veracious, and even steps on the sacred subject of age. Oboe Concerto is testament to this with Morrissey drinking to absent friends, whereas Staircase at University takes a harsh reality laden look at a young woman’s pressure with the world. The track features typically witty and biting Morrissey lyrics: ‘If you don’t get three A’s as sweet daddy said, you’re no child of mine, as far as I’m concerned you’re dead’.
A Spanish vibe flits its way in and out of the music throughout the record, most prevalent on songs Earth is the Loneliest Planet and Kiss Me A Lot. This helps the album sound so much more inclusive and memorable – a trick of a well seasoned artist. Special mention also has to go to Istanbul; the song manages to mix music in the vein of The Smiths classic How Soon Is Now with a horrifying story of a son lost to a world of prostitutes, danger , and pain.
There’s not much wrong with this album, and it’s the best solo Morrissey effort for years. Maybe being a little too self indulgent on some of the song intros (I’m not a Man, I’m looking at you), is instantly forgiven when you listen to the sheer amount of content and love that has gone into every track. Morrissey has never lost his voice, but he’s once again found his exuberance with new album World Peace Is None OF Your Business.