Morrissey – Low In High School Review

Its practically impossible not to have at least heard of Morrissey at this day in age. Be it for his ingenious work in The Smiths, or in his 11 solo albums, or just being a loud and proud, outspoken guy. Which is why, for such a hyped up man, it’s a bit of shock that his most recent album Low in High School picks up on the same mediocre and frankly weird standard that World Peace is None of Your Business left us with.

We started the Low in High School Journey with Spent the Day in Bed. I remember listening to this song, after half-and-half dipping my toe into some of Morrissey’s work beforehand, and wondering what all the fuss is about. It flops over wavering keys and never changes…just kind of lingers like a bad smell. Hopes were lifted with Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on The Stage. Boosted by more exhilarating instrumentalism, his fiery political messages are strong, and clever, and provides something different and interesting as a break from the instrumental incessance the remainder of the track list revolves around.

The album starts well, with My Love, I’d Do Anything for You, featuring fierce guitars, thunderous percussion and snapshots of brass. It’s a good start that experiments with instrumentalism, and has no particular structure, keeping it a pretty captivating number. I Wish You Lonely follows a similar kind of vein, fizzing and wailing with quirk. Jacky’s Only Happy appears next, and then Morrissey finds himself in a rut of boring melancholia.

Boring melancholia, and odd notions thrown in there for…well, I’m not quite sure why. The political angst that comes out in songs like I Bury the Living – one of the more listenable angry ballads on the album – doesn’t sit well next to the suggestive nature of In Your Lap; the two tracks uncomfortably placed side-by-side on the track list. It feels like all the power behind I Bury the Living is lost amongst the creepy sexual imagery. And it’s not the only time this kind of theme pops up either – unsurprisingly, it’s a key part of When You Open Your Legs, as well as Home is A Question Mark.

The album closes with Israel. Sure, it remains to be as pedestrian as much of the rest of the album, yet it is a poignant closer. A building piano ballad to close an album of bizarre techno experimentations and lustful ideas – a stirring political tune is what is needed to round off a track list of oddities.

Morrissey – Low in High School: 5/10

Eleanor Chivers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: