You Are the Quarry
The Music Box's #6 album of 2004
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2004, Volume 11, #8
Written by John Metzger
Lest his hopelessly downtrodden fans forget that life sucks and the world is an awful place, Morrissey has come storming out of his self-imposed, seven-year sabbatical to release You Are the Quarry, a collection filled with a combination of music and lyrics that is brutally blunt, angry, and louder than bombs. Just on the opening trilogy of tunes, he delivers blows to American foreign policy, U.K. society, and organized religion before settling down to ponder the problems with both his love life and his career. That it’s all delivered with an egocentric air shouldn’t be much of a surprise to anyone — after all, Morrissey forever has played perfectly the part of the brooding, narcissistic misanthrope — but the passion, focus, and intensity of his performance will startle many long-time fans who otherwise had cast off all hope that the former frontman for The Smiths would ever rediscover his voice.
Throughout You Are the Quarry, Morrissey and his entourage dabble in a variety of sounds and styles, wandering from the hip-hop beats that launch America Is Not the World to the jazzy flute accompaniment that concludes I’m Not Sorry, from the marching guitar-laden chug of How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? to the Beatle-esque pop of The World Is Full of Crashing Bores. Yet, all of it serves primarily to frame the crooner’s voice, which sounds better than ever, having lost none of its soaring, majestic, Merseybeat charm. That it also serves to place his lyrics front and center is certainly no accident, and when all is said and done, You Are the Quarry is Morrissey’s most consistently engaging endeavor since Vauxhall and I, if not Viva Hate.
You Are the Quarry is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box