Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The MB Reader > Album Reviews
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-09-2010, 08:52 PM   #41 (permalink)
Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk
 
NumberNineDream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The land of the largest wine glass (aka Lebanon)
Posts: 2,183
Default

Well, once again, you made me want to download another Smiths album. I love that you focus on the lyrics, and as I finally read the completed review, I must say, it is all well written, and easy on the eyes.

Keep it up (I must find you a nickname quick)
__________________
Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?

NumberNineDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2010, 08:52 PM   #42 (permalink)
Moper
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 504
Default

Here are some of the tracks I mentioned:


William, It Was Really Nothing ( I particularly enjoy this performance for some reason):



How Soon Is Now?:



Handsome Devil:



Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now:




Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
:



Enjoy.
The Fascinating Turnip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2010, 08:56 PM   #43 (permalink)
Moper
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 504
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberNineDream View Post
Well, once again, you made me want to download another Smiths album. I love that you focus on the lyrics, and as I finally read the completed review, I must say, it is all well written, and easy on the eyes.

Keep it up (I must find you a nickname quick)
Thanks for your kind words, you always prove yourself a constructive critic, and I believe your compliments when you utter them.

And indeed you must, pretzel
The Fascinating Turnip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 01:28 AM   #44 (permalink)
Fish in the percolator!
 
Seltzer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hobbit Land NZ
Posts: 2,867
Default

Ah, I love Hatful and I agree with you on Accept Yourself... nice lyrics but the music rubs me up the wrong way. William is fantastic - it's just so jaunty. And I still crack up when I hear "Let me get my hands on your mammary glands". I quite like the organic sounding Hatful version of This Charming Man - it's different enough for me to listen to both of them on a regular basis.

Nice review anyway - your style seems to work pretty well for the Smiths.
__________________
Seltzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2010, 01:39 PM   #45 (permalink)
Account Disabled
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 4,355
Default

Another great review UB I need to get this.
James is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 05:27 PM   #46 (permalink)
Moper
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 504
Default

I apologise for the lack of reviews.

I'll post one of Meat Is Murder soonish.
The Fascinating Turnip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 05:36 PM   #47 (permalink)
Account Disabled
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Eyrie, Vale of Arryn, Westeros
Posts: 2,999
Default

g'wan!
Sansa Stark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 10:29 PM   #48 (permalink)
Blue Bleezin' Blind Drunk
 
NumberNineDream's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The land of the largest wine glass (aka Lebanon)
Posts: 2,183
Default

^Stefani?
__________________
Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats?Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats? Do bats eat cats?

NumberNineDream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 07:09 AM   #49 (permalink)
Moper
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 504
Default

I should really rethink my definition of "soonish".

I apologise, here is the review for Meat Is Murder:



1. "The Headmaster Ritual" 4:52
2. "Rusholme Ruffians" 4:20
3. "I Want the One I Can't Have" 3:14
4. "What She Said" 2:42
5. "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" 4:59
6. "How Soon Is Now?" (Originally not released on UK and European issues of the album) 6:46
7. "Nowhere Fast" 2:37
8. "Well I Wonder" 4:00
9. "Barbarism Begins at Home" 6:57
10. "Meat Is Murder" 6:06

As the album begins we're introduced to The Headmaster Ritual's loud combination of rattling drums and guitars which make for a fantastic full, jangly sound that send you into a sort of soothing reverie, which coupled with Morrissey's hypnotizing wailings creates something rather unique.
This is a song that genuinely makes one feel like he's admidst it, not just idly giving it a listen. It immerses you in this sea of sound, and I always picture myself in a cold misty morning when I listen to this. In a way, it creates a certain atmosphere.

The lyrics are obviously harsh criticism directed at the cruelty of Manchester's educational system, but, in a wider sense, it could refer to education in general. Who wouldn't relate to such feelings?

"Belligerent ghouls
Run Manchester schools

Spineless swines
Cemented minds

Sir leads the troops
Jealous of youth
Same old suit since 1962

He does the military two-step
Down the nape of my neck

I wanna go home
I don't wanna stay
Give up education
As a bad mistake

Mid-week on the playing fields
Sir thwacks you on the knees

Knees you in the groin
Elbow in the face
Bruises bigger than dinner plates

(...)

Spineless bastards all ...

Sir leads the troops
Jealous of youth
Same old jokes since 1902

(...)

I wanna go home
I don't want to stay
Give up life
As a bad mistake

Please excuse me from gym
I've got this terrible cold coming on
He grabs and devours
He kicks me in the showers
Kicks me in the showers
And he grabs and devours

(..)"

This is again interesting as it shows how Morrissey can utter rather spiteful, vindictive lyrics and still manage being rather charming and showing how vulnerable the subject makes him feel in his way of going about it, perhaps due to his voice and mordant wit.

Rusholme Ruffians is the first half of a couple of rather fun songs that rear their head amidst some rather baffling ones.
Following the intensity of The Headmaster Ritual, it reveals a quite significant change in sound.

This same sound and, of course, the lyrics place us in a rather violent, gaudy, vulgar place, with references to greasy hairdo's, ferris wheels and stabbings.
In a way this is rather common with some The Smiths' tracks, like Still Ill "Under the iron bridge we kissed" and some others I'll mention later on: the insertion of a vulnerable soul in a rather harsh and dodgy environment, which has everything to do with Morrissey's upbringing in working-class, industrial Manchester. What makes this track stand out is the fact that the lyrics and the sound are all rather grotesque and carnivalesque

“The last night of the fair
By the big wheel generator
A boy is stabbed
And his money is grabbed
And the air hangs heavy like a dulling wine

She is Famous
She is Funny
An engagement ring
Doesn't mean a thing
To a mind consumed by brass (money)


And though I walk home alone
I might walk home alone ...
...But my faith in love is still devout


The last night of the fair
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)

(...)

Then someone falls in love
And someone's beaten up
Someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine
And someone falls in love
And someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine

(..)

This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"
La ...

(...)


So ... scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen
(This means you really love me)

(...)

And though I walk home alone
I just might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
I might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
I might walk home alone
But my faith in love is still devout
La ...”



The fact that everything is rather gruesome and the subject of interest is vulnerable makes that particular trait stand out even more.

Other excerpts like “scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen: this means you really love me” also suggest that there’s a certain obliviously brutish way of acting upon one’s feelings.

I Want The One I Can’t Have is rather catchy, it would be only natural for one to find himself randomly singing “I want the one I can’t have, and it’s driving me mad, it’s all over all over all over my face”. I must admit that a lot of small snippets from this song’s lyrics popped into my head now and then, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember what song it was. I wouldn’t call it a favourite, but it’s nothing to scoff at, and it might just become one:

On the day that your mentality
Decides to try to catch up with your biology

Come round ...
'Cause I want the one I can't have
And it's driving me mad
It's all over, all over, all over my face

(...)

A double bed
And a stalwart lover for sure
These are the riches of the poor

(...)

A tough kid who sometimes swallows nails
Raised on Prisoner's Aid
He killed a policeman when he was
Thirteen
And somehow that really impressed
Me
And it's written all over my face


Oh, these are the riches of the poor
These are the riches of the poor

(...)

And if you ever need self-validation
Just meet me in the alley by the
Railway station
It's all over my face
Oh ...


I’d like to highlight this particular segment:

"And if you ever need self-validation
Just meet me in the alley by the
Railway station
"

He’s at it again!
The alley by the railway station, just like the iron bridge from Still Ill, add that enthralling contrast which fascinates me.

What She Said basically kicks you in the face with some fantastic, speedy guitar work, courtesy of Mr. Marr. I don't know what came over the man, but he seems absolutely possessed. Fantastic delivery; a loud outburst of sheer energy:

What she said:
"How come someone hasn't noticed
That I'm dead
And decided to bury me ?
God knows, I'm ready !"
La-la-la ...
What she said was sad
But then, all the rejection she's had
To pretend to be happy
Could only be idiocy
La-la-la ...
What she said was not for the job or
Lover that she never had
Oh ...
No no no ...
What she read
All heady books
She'd sit and prophesise
(It took a tattooed boy from
Birkenhead
To really really open her eyes)
(...)
What she said :
"I smoke 'cos I'm hoping for an
Early death
AND I NEED TO CLING TO SOMETHING !

(...)

Contrasting with the aforementioned guitar work is this bit of writing: The lyrics are obviously about a deeply depressed woman who finds no pleasure in life and quite frankly feels it’s already left her. She used to read about life instead of really living it, which is the only way to really understand reality. Whe she did start living, her experiences weren’t too pleasant, and life as she discovered it to be didn’t particularly appeal to her. All of this and more is rather phenomenally portrayed in one of the album's shortest songs.

...

Last edited by The Fascinating Turnip; 07-25-2010 at 07:19 AM.
The Fascinating Turnip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2010, 07:15 AM   #50 (permalink)
Moper
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 504
Default

That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore is rather curious because the essence of the lyrics is rather simple, yet they’re remarkably done. The average person might feel like this, but he’ll find it hard to express it in such a verbose way. All in all, it’s as baffling as it’s simple.
A gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar leads you into a monument of a track. Morrissey’s voice arrives, angsty and vulnerable, and somewhere along the line a harsh swooping sound which I can only assume is the work of a synthethizer creates a bit of tension. The recurrent repetition of the chorus is performed with an incredible intensity, full of despair and agony, and is truly moving.
The lyrics, again, deal with something rather simple in a fascinating way:


Park the car at the side of the road
You should know
Time's tide will smother you
And I will too
When you laugh about people who feel so
Very lonely
Their only desire is to die
Well, I'm afraid
It doesn't make me smile
I wish I could laugh

But that joke isn't funny anymore
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone
More than you'll ever know ...


Kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down
You kick them when they fall down
Kick them when they fall down


It was dark as I drove the point home
And on cold leather seats
Well, it suddenly struck me
I just might die with a smile on my
Face after all


I've seen this happen in other people's
Lives
And now it's happening in mine

(...)

Oh ...


I've seen this happen in other people's
Lives
Oh ...
And now it's happening in mine
Happening in mine

(...)

Many of The Smiths’ lyrics seem to be more visual than they are literal, if I’m making myself understood.
They could be references, as many of them are, but I find that excerpts like “It was dark as I drove the point (...)” and “park the car at the side of the road (...)” don’t have much of a meaning or a connection to the rest of the lyrics, per se. Instead, they set a certain atmosphere, they take you to a certain place which is usually rather appropriate.

The meaning? Well, I believe it’s a rather simple thing. Even if logic shows you that “something” can happen to anyone, lack of experience might suggest otherwise. In a way, this reminds me of What She Said.
Laughing at the hardships of life starts getting a bit more difficult when you’ve been through them.


And here’s the second half, Nowhere Fast. It’s rather tongue-in-cheek, with some of the most witty lyrics in The Smiths’ repertoire. If a day comes when one wishes to hear Morrissey rambling about his desire to drop his trousers to the Queen, this is the song to listen to.
Much like a certain track from the album that followed, it has a bit of criticism directed at the Crown in it, and complaints about his hometown.

"I'd like to drop my trousers to the world
I am a man of means (of slender means)
Each household appliance
Is like a new science in my town
And if the day came when I felt a
Natural emotion
I'd get such a shock I'd probably jump
In the ocean
And when a train goes by
It's such a sad sound
No ...
It's such a sad thing

I'd like to drop my trousers to the Queen
Every sensible child will know what this means
The poor and the needy
Are selfish and greedy on her terms
And if the day came when I felt a
Natural emotion
I'd get such a shock I'd probably jump
In the ocean
And when a train goes by
It's such a sad sound
No ...
It's such a sad thing


And when I'm lying in my bed
I think about life
And I think about death
And neither one particularly appeals to me
And if the day came when I felt a
Natural emotion
I'd get such a shock I'd probably lie
In the middle of the street and die
I'd lie down and die ...
Oh, oh


Don’t be fooled by the song’s flippant nature. As you could see just then, it has some rather serious moments which I’m quite fond of. The way he speaks of not feeling natural emotions or feeling rather bored with existence in general is again fascinating.
It’s not that it’s something incredibly complex that no one else would manage doing, it was just well done, it’s realistic and it has its charm.

Well I Wonder is a song that took me a while to notice. It’s a melancholy with an acoustic guitar in the background and once again Morrissey providing a great vocal delivery.

The lyrics are a bit of a cliche, perhaps, but I find them absolutely hearbreaking, even if traditionally witty at times:

“Well I wonder
Do you hear me when you sleep ?
I hoarsely cry
Why ...

Well I wonder
Do you see me when we pass ?
I half die ...
Why ...


Please keep me in mind
Please keep me in mind


Gasping - but somehow still alive
This is the fierce last stand of all I am


Gasping - dying - but somehow still alive
This is the final stand of all I am


Please keep me in mind

(...)”

It’s despair, agony and desire on a rainy day. Superb song.

Barbarism Begins at Home is one of those songs that make people dance involuntarily.
Andy Rourke does an amazing job in this, the funky bassline is incredible.
Need proof? Here you go:


I love that footage.

In any case, Johnny Marr’s guitar work is also amazing, and quite frankly, the whole arrangement seems spot on.

The lyrics aren’t their best, but they remind me of The Headmaster Ritual heavily, are well written and again they have a meaning to them which a lot of people relate to, so couldn't possibly be anywhere near bad:

“Unruly boys
Who will not grow up
Must be taken in hand
Unruly girls
Who will not settle down
They must be taken in hand

A crack on the head
Is what you get for not asking
And a crack on the head
Is what you get for asking

(...)

A crack on the head
Is just what you get
WHY ? Because of who you are !
And a crack on the head
Is just what you get
WHY ? Because of what you are !
A crack on the head
Because of :
Those things you said
Things you said
The things you did

(...)”


Meat Is Murder!

What can I say, the whole album’s characteristic criticism reaches its apotheosis right here.

A rather radical song that while far from being their best has its qualities. The mooing cows and the general melancholy, atmospheric sound are pleasant, but the lyrics are a bit revolting. Purposedly so, infact.
I’m not saying they’re poorly written, they’re just meant to make you feel guilty and disgusted, and they succeed immensely:

"Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the flesh you so fancifully fry
Is not succulent, tasty or kind
It's death for no reason
And death for no reason is MURDER

And the calf that you carve with a smile
Is MURDER
And the turkey you festively slice
Is MURDER
Do you know how animals die ?

Kitchen aromas aren't very homely
It's not "comforting", cheery or kind
It's sizzling blood and the unholy stench
Of MURDER

It's not "natural", "normal" or kind
The flesh you so fancifully fry
The meat in your mouth
As you savour the flavour
Of MURDER

NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
NO, NO, NO, IT'S MURDER
Oh ... and who hears when animals cry ?
"

Last edited by The Fascinating Turnip; 07-25-2010 at 07:35 AM.
The Fascinating Turnip is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



2003-2019 Advameg, Inc.

SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2 ©2010, Crawlability, Inc.