MUSIC REVIEW: Morrissey – Years of Refusal


Years of Refusal
(Lost Highway)

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Only Morrissey can sing the words, “I’ll slit their throats for you” and turn them into the most beautifully romantic lyrics I have heard in ages. Forever forlorn, this once underground icon of moody ballads and somber sentiments has continued to grow as an artist and refused to fade away quietly. It is a special thing to stay so relevant, so emotive and so spiritually dark when most of the original fans who grew up listening to his records in their angst-ridden college years have probably grown-up and become responsible and well-medicated adults. And yet Morrissey himself proves with his latest record that he has managed to stay artistically hungry and keep himself sealed in a wonderfully weary womb of loathing and despair.

In a day and age when young Emo bands and their shallow whining are all the rage, this new record is Morrissey’s way of showing them who the master of true mourning is. If you are too young to remember The Smiths and how great it was to sit around your college dorm getting high and listening to Morrissey’s soul bleed out in sad, symphonic ballads, then I suggest you begin a musical journey into the past recordings of this classic artist. And you can start with this record, because he has not lost his edge and has in fact turned the scars of his years into a more refined and evocative sound.

When Morrissey sings about his mother’s suicide in the romantic and angry ballad, “Mama Lay Softly On The Riverbed,” he shows why he is the master of turning misery and sadness into something indescribably beautiful. He is also digging deeper into his own life and the memories of the past, which gives any fan a very intimate look into the birth of a great artist. Even though he may have began as “a small fat child in a welfare house,” he has certainly become a rock star for the ages. And who else can inspire you with the lines, “Life isn’t much to lose.”

Adam J. Rodriguez

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