Review ·

To the attention of Steven Patrick Morrissey:


Oh, Morrissey. Why do you hurt me so? In the past couple weeks, not only have you declared economic war on my country, but you also crushed any remaining hope I had that the Smiths might one day re-form in some capacity. Disappointed as I was, I tried my best to bury such feelings. Ringleader of the Tormentors, I convinced myself, would surely make up for any pain your actions had caused me. But you weren't nearly done twisting the knife yet, were you? What should have been your redemption is instead merely a disappointing follow up to 2004's remarkable You Are the Quarry.


Where did it all go wrong? Were you struggling with writer's block, or did you just feel uninspired this time out? I only ask because your lyrics really aren't up to your usual standards. Where is the razor-sharp wit? The biting social commentary? Where did the flawless balancing act of misery and grandiloquence go? If you had nothing of real interest to say, why rush to put out another album? We waited seven years for the last one, Morrissey; you could have taken a bit more time. Instead, you decided to churn out uninspired lines such as "To me you are a work of art/ And I would give you my heart/ That's if I had one." And I can't help but echo your sentiments in "I Will See You In Far Off Places": "Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?"


Another thing Mozz (can I call you Moz?) -- and I hope this isn't too personal a question -- but what have you done to your voice? Maybe you've been living in L.A. too long, and the smog's starting to take its toll. I'm really not sure. What I do know -- and I think we can agree on this if you're honest with yourself -- is that your vocals don't have the same strength or range they did just two years ago on You Are the Quarry. Those high notes that you try to hit on "I'll Never be Anybody's Hero Now" certainly prove that.


Now, Mozz, I hope you don't misconstrue my intentions behind writing you this letter. My complaints aren't being voiced out of malice but out of compassion. Another artist -- a lesser artist -- could hand this album over to the world and hold his head high. But mediocrity is beneath you, Morrissey. I'm a reasonable man, so if you can forgive Jesus, then I can forgive Ringleader of the Tormentors. But next time, please put in a sincere effort if you really just want to see the boy happy.


Yours Truly,


Justin Sheppard




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Morrissey Web site

Sanctuary Records Web site

"You Have Killed Me" video

Streaming audio

  • I Will See You In Far Off Places
  • Dear God, Please Help Me
  • You Have Killed Me
  • The Youngest Was The Most Loved
  • In The Future When All's Well
  • The Father Who Must Be Killed
  • Life Is A Pigsty
  • I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero
  • On The Streets I Ran
  • To Me You Are A Work Of Art
  • I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
  • At Last I Am Born
Rahim - Ideal Lives Maspyke Static

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