Morrissey: Low in High School – dodgy politics, but still a class act

Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 05:00


Low in High School


Etienne Records/BMG


Even the most die-hard Morrissey fan would grudgingly admit that it is becoming more difficult to separate the art from the man, given his increasingly contentious political statements in recent times. Isolate the musician from his confusing ideology, however, and his 11th album may be his finest work since 2006’s Ringleader of the Tormentors.

Recent albums have suffered from gluts of turgid filler, but this is an infinitely sleeker and more thoughtfully crafted affair. Beefy brass-infused opener My Love, I’d Do Anything for You harkens back to the glam-rock of Your Arsenal; Home is a Question Mark is one of several swoonsome torch songs that suit his now 58-year-old voice beautifully, while All the Young People Must Fall in Love and lead single Spent the Day in Bed are his most blithe, melodic creations in years.

There are few divergences from Morrissey’s lyrical themes – the “evil” media, the futility of war, sex and his eyebrow-raising love of Israel – which makes this unlikely to win over new fans. It may, however, draw those who have drifted away in recent years closer once more, perhaps even despite their best intentions.