The Telegraph / Neil McCormick: Review of IANADOAC (4/5 - March 14, 2020)

Reproduced in full as a gated article:

By Neil McCormick.

Morrissey, I Am Not a Dog on a Chain, review: as great as anything he has ever written

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Morrissey at Leeds First Direct Arena, March 2020 CREDIT: KENNY BROWN.

"I do not read newspapers/ They are troublemakers,” Morrissey croons on the title track of his 13th solo album, I Am Not a Dog on a Chain. I guess he won’t be perusing the pages of The Telegraph to see how many stars have been awarded to his latest offering. Yet you don’t have to agree with his views on the media to applaud the passion with which he expresses them. What starts out like a sweet nursery-rhyme ditty builds to a spluttering explosion of righteous rage: “I raise my voice/ I have no choice/ I raise my hand, I hammer twice/ I see no point in being nice.” It is bracing stuff, beautifully delivered. At the age of 60, he is still making music as if his life depended upon it.

The underlying assertion of the album title, of course, is Morrissey’s right to express himself as he sees fit, and damn the begrudgers. His support for Right-wing political causes has created tension with fans who idealised his Eighties indie band the Smiths as liberal champions of the oppressed. Yet a streak of politically incorrect provocation has existed in Morrissey’s work since his earliest days and there is a suspicion that what might have seemed iconoclastic in a young man has come to be viewed as misanthropic for a mature artist.

Perhaps one of the reasons Morrissey gets into trouble is that he dares to embrace subjects rarely tackled in pop music. There are songs here that touch on: suicide (Jim Jim Falls); transsexualism (The Truth About Ruth); chastity (Darling, I Hug a Pillow); political despair (Love Is on Its Way Out); repressed homosexuality (Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?); deeply personal family memories (I Saw the River Clean); and music as an antidote to depression (The Secret of Music). It is an album bursting with epigrammatic phrases, ridiculous rhymes, huge melodies and provocative opinions. The sound is brash and arresting. American producer Joe Chiccarelli (with whom Morrissey has worked since 2015) dials up the electronica, fusing synths with more familiar gothic rock and baroque elements, while Morrissey’s assured, inimitable voice glides airily above the mayhem.

Knockabout World is an anthem for the bullied that ends with a cheerful singalong of “You’re OK by me!” Yet he can switch from empathetic humanity to the mean-spirited trolling of What Kind of People Live in These Houses?, a jangling guitar romp delivered with the sneery judgmentalism of an angry prig (“What carpet chewer lights up this sewer?/ What dented gent bends over in this tent?”). Morrissey remains a deeply complicated character, parading his brittle psychology in song; you don’t have to like everything he creates to respect such absolute commitment to his art.

The album ends beautifully with My Hurling Days Are Done, a song as great as any he has ever written. “Time is no friend of mine,” he sings, sadly. Erstwhile fans who might prefer Morrissey to shut up and go away should be careful what they wish for.

I Am Not a Dog on a Chain is released by BMG on March 20"


Regards,
FWD.
 

Comments

TonyMaroneythePony

Well-Known Member
I, too, couldn’t wait and heard the album a few times through. The reviewer is right, it’s as good as anything he released. Personally speaking, it”s his best since Vauxhall.I find myself wanting to relisten to the album over and over, something I couldn’t do with the last 5-6 albums, I like the style and bold direction of this record, which takes new chances yet stays true to himself. Jim Jim Falls is terrific and its middle eight is hauntingly addicting; There are strong nods to The Smiths lyrically and musically in “Houses’ and “River” I’m very proud of Morrissey and the band on this effort, he certainly is making music like his life depended on it and I’m happy to be excited and in love with a Morrissey album once more!
 
U

Up Pup

Guest
Don't think people took the proper time to read this review. The writer states that Hurling Days is as good as anything he has released. This was not stated about the whole record.
 
L

Lujissey

Guest
Don't think people took the proper time to read this review. The writer states that Hurling Days is as good as anything he has released. This was not stated about the whole record.
NO, NO me parece que tenes q leer mejor ,el critico dijo :"ES UN ALBUM CON ENORMES MELODIAS Y OPINIONES PROVOCATIVAS EL SONIDO ES IMPETUOSO Y DESLUMBRANTE....SON COSAS ARRIESGADAS BELLAMENTE ENTREGADAS,A LOS 60'S AUN HACE MUSICA COMO SI SU VIDA DEPENDIERA DE ELLO",FIJESE Q EL CRITICO SE REFIERE AL ALBUM,Y LUEGO DICE QUE" EL DISCO TERMINA MARAVILLOSAMENTE CON MY HURLING DAYS...1 CANCION TAN GENIAL COMO CUALQUIERA QUE HAYA ESCRITO,". ES UNA EXCELENTE CRITICA PARA MOZ, LA MEJOR QUE LE DIERON HASTA AHORA Y CON RAZON .NO ENTIENDO MUCHO DE MUSICA TECNICAMENTE ..PERO SI TENGO BUEN GUSTO Y ME PARECE MUY BUEN DISCO Y PARA MI AL IGUAL QUE PARA EL CRITICO ES MY HURLING DAYS...EL MEJOR TEMA DE TODOS LO ESCUCHE SOLO 1 VEZ Y ME ESTREMECIO,Y ESO QUE TODAVIA NO PUDE VERLO TRADUCIDO....me hizo acordar a lo que me paso con muchos temas de Vauxhall and I ,con los que llore mucho aun sin saber lo que decian ,ejemplo Now my heart is full, de esta cancion si entendia lo que significaba el titulo ,pero no el resto ,hasta que vi la traduccion me imagine cosas..luego obtuve la letra y me gusto mucho mas....Definitivamente MOZ ES LO MAS !!EL BAJO UN RATITO DE LA CIMA DE LA MONTAÑA PERO AHORA VOLVIO A SUBIR CON FUERZA !!!TREPEN A LOS TECHOS YA LLEGA LA AURORA ..ES SU LUZ MAS BRILLANTE QUE NUNCA EL ES MI VICIO MAS ENERGIZANTE MOZ FELICITACIONES TE ADMIRO MAL!!! ❤❤MII MOZ SE LO MERECE!!!!??????????❤❤❤
 

Morrissey's left nut

HA HA HAHA HAHA
I gave it a listen. Like most of his later work, there's a handful of wheat and a majority of chaff.
The title track is heavily indebted to Sparks, but is enjoyable simply because the tone and the content clash in a pleasing way. Darling I hug a Pillow is refreshingly off, The Secret of Music sounds like the band got high and listened to The Creatures, but missed lyrically in the execution. (Moz sounds out of his element and like a grandpa sitting in with a younger band) Hurling days loses me at the chorus with a very familiar "Mamaaaaa-" where you automatically prepare to add "Oooooooooo" a'la a much more popular song.
His lyrics are better in general on this album, but the singles so far are among the weaker songs in my opinion. All in all, nothing terribly shocking here apart from the fan servicing on a few tracks with sounds that harken back to the heyday.
 

gonzax

Junior Member
I agreee, it's a fantastic album; except for a couple of dull songs near the end the rest is great. Even "love is on its way out" which I didn't like one bit the first time fits in very well within the album.

If someone had told me years ago that the opening track of this album, "jim jim falls" was a Morrissey song I would have laughed in disbelief and yet it's such a fantastic catchy song despite the bleak lyrics.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Due to his right wing political statements, the album will chart lower than any of his before. Maybe will make the top 10 in the uk for a week and will fall out of the top 40 the next week. Won’t chart in the top 40 and likely not the top 100 in the USA. Will sell 10.000 copies worldwide in week one, if lucky. Too bad since the reviews over all have been positive. But his political statements have ruined him and he deserves what he gets.

The old fans at the recent tour dates are there for nostalgia and most won’t stream the album, let alone buy it.
You're wrong. The crowd was very positive & enjoyed what he's doing now. There's no nostalgia in a Morrissey show except his for his childhood & the New York Dolls.

Not everyone becomes obsessed with media pull-quotes. Or with artists 'getting what they deserve' because you disapprove of them.
 
Last edited:

Surface

Vegan Cro’s parents regret the condom splitting
You're wrong. The crowd was very positive & enjoyed what he's doing now. There's no nostalgia in a Morrissey show except his for his childhood & the New York Dolls.

Not everyone becomes obsessed with media pull-quotes. Or with artists 'getting what the deserve' because you disapprove of them.
You are not very balanced are you? How do you know he is wrong. He is talking about the album not the gig. An observation from me, you joined this site 4 months ago and have quickly become the biggest one eyed tit on here - well done, that takes some doing.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Re. Drug using/repressed homosexuality on Bobby, I always assumed it was about both. A repressed gay man addicted to narcotics as a coping mechanism.
Moz seems to have a real aversion to his own body, which he said ecstasy helped with. Maybe he's drawing on that?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
'Once I Saw The River Clean' is exceptional and moving; 'What Kind of People Live In These Houses' is brilliant, and 'My Hurling Days are Done' is good too. The rest is mostly filler - but three or four good new Morrissey songs is great for me. LIHS did not offer such treats and came across as full of trite and incoherent bluster. (although brilliantly performed).
 
L

Lujissey

Guest
Quiere decir que
Moz seems to have a real aversion to his own body, which he said ecstasy helped with. Maybe he's drawing on that?
Quieren decir que Morrissey consume extasis o cualquier otro tipo de drogas para que lo ayuden a lidiar con su supuesta homosexualidad reprimida??? El tiene problemas con la droga realmente???
 
L

Lujissey

Guest
En los shows y en los ultimos, se lo ve tranquilo a Moz no parece estar bajo los efectos de sustancias, el tema Bobby tiene un criterio de interpretación personal, puede ser un personaje de fantasía, que el propio Moz ideo, el punto es que hasta que no haya nadie que le pregunte de que se tata Bobby seguira habiendo distintas formas de interpretarlo.Si es cierto que M reprime su homosexualidad ,lo cual es probable, deberia buscar la forma de resolverlo sin usar mierda que entre en su cuerpo,son todas hipotesis pero a muchos confesar su eleccion sexual les sirvio ,sintieron un alivio,tal vez el tema de su madre lo frena,no se.... son todas suposiciones y el tema es muy complejo...si es cierto que es homosex el dia que confiese sentira el alivio de liberarse de una carga muy pesada y creo que todos los fans que lo queremos nos vamos a alegrar ,pero repito son solo suposiciones , que yo supongo con respeto????y con dudas...
 
Is McCormick reviewing Morrissey's political views or the album?

The Torygraph is a chickenshit Zionist echo chamber.
 

A Man Escaped

Well-Known Member
I don't know if this has been posted elsewhere on Solo, but this is the 3 out of 5 "review" of the album in the UK Mail On Sunday magazine. Its so short, it doesn't deserve it own thread.

"This 13th album might once have been seen as a return to form, with robust tunes such as Bobby, Don't You Think They Know? or elegant closer My Hurling Days Are Done. But, since he has lost many fans with far-right political views, how many of those who used to love him still care?

Surprised by the tone as he did a short interview with them a couple of years back, which was posted here and may have been the last interview he did with a "mainstream" publication in the UK.
 

snoddywilko

Well-Known Member
I listened to the album for the first time early hours of this morning & really enjoyed it.

I’ve found the largely obvious guitar backings that have followed him for most of his solo career, to be predictable & unimaginative, so I’m overjoyed to hear the new musical landscape he is exploring on this album. Who else takes such a left turn at the age of 60?

Wonderful vocal melodies throughout, too; many of which are already on loops in my head after only one listen. & the lyrics have plenty of interesting lines, subjects matters & witty couplets as well.

I’ll be playing it on repeat from now on & can’t wait for the red vinyl to arrive on Friday.

Viva, Moz!
 

Mozmar

Well-Known Member
I listened to the album for the first time early hours of this morning & really enjoyed it.

I’ve found the largely obvious guitar backings that have followed him for most of his solo career, to be predictable & unimaginative, so I’m overjoyed to hear the new musical landscape he is exploring on this album. Who else takes such a left turn at the age of 60?

Wonderful vocal melodies throughout, too; many of which are already on loops in my head after only one listen. & the lyrics have plenty of interesting lines, subjects matters & witty couplets as well.

I’ll be playing it on repeat from now on & can’t wait for the red vinyl to arrive on Friday.

Viva, Moz!
The vocals, his voice is truly outstanding...absolutely incredible.
I've played the album a few times now, and while I'm still juggling track preferences & scores, it's this central point about his voice that I keep coming back to.
Great album, it has to be said.
Amazing guy.
 

snoddywilko

Well-Known Member
I’m absolutely loving IANADOAC & What Kind of People...

I really enjoyed most of Low In High School but there were a couple of tracks I really disliked; so far I’m really liking everything on this new album.

It’s too early to say with any real conviction, but this album could be up there with his best.

It’s certainly a very strong collection, which should be applauded by any artist this far into their career.
 

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