Uncut / The Smiths - Ultimate Music Guide (April 2019) includes "California Son" review

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Posted by an anonymous person in the thread Official reviews for California Son:

The first review is out!
It's from Uncut. Can't quite see the score here but it's pretty positive and reads like a 7 or 8/10.
Interestingly, I think Uncut published the first review of Low in High School with a damning score (possibly 5/10) and the conclusion that it was his worst since Kill Uncle.
Please add other reviews to this thread (although there probably won't be many for another few 3 or 4 weeks).


Also posted by an anonymous person:

Morning Starship 4/5
Don't Interrupt the Sorrow 3/5
Only a Pawn in Their Game 4/5
Suffer the Little Children 5/5
Days of Decision 4/5
It's Over 4/5
Wedding Bell Blues 3/5
Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets 3/5
Lady Willpower 5/5
When You Close Your Eyes 3/5
Lenny's Tune 3/5
Some Say (I Got Devil) 4/5

45/60

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Also posted by Famous when dead:

For those who collect magazines the review is in this:
The Smiths – Ultimate Music Guide (Deluxe Edition) - £10.99



https://www.uncut.co.uk/publication...usic-guide-deluxe-edition#WXfPw3ZcFywvTUDO.99

(Link not seen in Strange... thread at time of posting).
Bit expensive IMHO.
FWD.
 
Last edited:

countthree

Well-Known Member
I won't presume to make a subjective assessment of something I've only heard 30% of.
That said, a fair criticism might be:
The album was advertised back in Oct. last year as an homage to American songwriters aka an 'American Songbook'.
Other artists have released similar styles of album with good success.
With the digital release of each song, there's been no real selling of the songbook idea. The Lynch album cover doesn't help suggest it either.
A lot of comments I've seen as I trawl through info are around what an odd choice / mismatch the tracks on the album are. I think most of us would expect a varied selection from Morrissey, but it doesn't feel that cohesive. It might well pull together on a full listen, but that's the only bit of the scab I can find to pick at currently.
Getting ready for some RSD rough & tumble...
Regards,
FWD.

The selection of tracks must have a meaning for Morrissey. His voice sounds great in the songs we listened. That would be a good reason to chose them plus personal reasons we only can suspect.
 
M

my lonely bench

Guest
While I don't find the songs from California Son to be bad.. I find them to be unmemorable and uninteresting.

Am I the only one who has listened only once or twice to any of these songs?

I am not surprised at this though. When the track listing was released I created a playlist of all the original songs and found that to be completely boring. Having Morrissey redo these songs is the only reason I would ever listen to them again and I'm sure over time 2 or 3 might grow on me but overall I think this album is sub-par and if I wasn't able to stream it free I'd be hard pressed to pony up $10 for a digital download or $12-$15 for a copy of it on CD.
Morrisseys enjoying himself. Whether we do or not seems immaterial
 

Ketamine Sun

<><><><><><><>
I am not surprised at this though. When the track listing was released I created a playlist of all the original songs and found that to be completely boring. Having Morrissey redo these songs is the only reason I would ever listen to them again and I'm sure over time 2 or 3 might grow on me but overall I think this album is sub-par and if I wasn't able to stream it free I'd be hard pressed to pony up $10 for a digital download or $12-$15 for a copy of it on CD.

Well, that’s not surprising considering your name.
 

ALLIE WALLS

Junior Member
Its a great idea but the songs are a poor choice and the arrangements are just pedestrian, there is no love to be found in them apart from the voice. What a missed opportunity. Never liked pinups either apart from Sorrow.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I won't presume to make a subjective assessment of something I've only heard 30% of.
That said, a fair criticism might be:
The album was advertised back in Oct. last year as an homage to American songwriters aka an 'American Songbook'.
Other artists have released similar styles of album with good success.
With the digital release of each song, there's been no real selling of the songbook idea. The Lynch album cover doesn't help suggest it either.
A lot of comments I've seen as I trawl through info are around what an odd choice / mismatch the tracks on the album are. I think most of us would expect a varied selection from Morrissey, but it doesn't feel that cohesive. It might well pull together on a full listen, but that's the only bit of the scab I can find to pick at currently.
Getting ready for some RSD rough & tumble...
Regards,
FWD.

Lynch ? I don't get what you mean
 

ALLIE WALLS

Junior Member
I hate those mags ive always got them in the past and realised that i never read anything new. Louis Armstrong put it best when he described rock and roll as cold soup warmed up. Nothing new here move on.
 

bored

Lust a prima vista
Well, that’s not surprising considering your name.
That's completely irrelevant.

I think he chose crappy covers. I liked a lot of LIHS.

I know you just love everything he does so you basically are devoid of opinions. I have one and you don't agree with it. I think I was very fair. You should try attacking the argument instead of the person making it. You should try it some time.
 

bored

Lust a prima vista
I think this album is sub-par,you haven't even heard it yet,least wait till you have heard it before throwing your tuppenceworth in.
I did say I would probably end up liking some of it. Ultimately these aren't great covers. I loved his version of Trash in 1991. I loved A Song From Under The Floorboards. I loved East/West. I loved No One Can Hold a Candle to You. I also have some affinity for the originals even if I heard his covers first.

I just haven't been wowed by much of it. I do like some of the artwork and I think the vocals are excellent.. it's the songs themselves that I just am not getting into.
 

bored

Lust a prima vista
I thought the same once about Bowie: Pinups, then I listened to the entire album, in context, uninterrupted, and I was impressed...I expect greater things from this album.....
Perhaps when I hear it as a single entity I will feel differently.

I think the difference for me is I immediately fell in love with a lot of LIHS.. Then more and more grew on me. WPINOYB on the other hand was something I didn't rate very high at first and came to like it a lot more over time.

My initial impressions however are that these just aren't the best song. Possibly because they are from North America ;)
 

bored

Lust a prima vista
Seems like it's not for you. But i have listened to Back On The Chain Gang and It's Over a bunch. Morrissey sounds great on those tracks. Not feeling WBB's though but i always disliked the original too
I really like "Chain Gang".. Even the video made me laugh as he "pretended" to play guitar.

I'm not one of those haters. I'm also not one of those blind defenders. I think you have picked up on that which is appreciated.
 

Unlikely One

Junior Member
Enjoying this phase. Bought this ultimate guide(the 137th) which offers not so much new but good writing drove me back up to my wee room to pop on the vinyls. Magical again.
 

ForgivemeJESUS

I am not BBC scum
Subscriber
That's completely irrelevant.

I think he chose crappy covers. I liked a lot of LIHS.

I know you just love everything he does so you basically are devoid of opinions. I have one and you don't agree with it. I think I was very fair. You should try attacking the argument instead of the person making it. You should try it some time.
And you must realize its Morrissey Record to choose what songs not what you want. If you dont like it then dont listen to it. I think there great choices, the man has good taste, Hell I'm still stuck on Twins from Deluxe Lp, that song jams starship is great. Really anticipating hearing them Live
 

celibate

Forever Ill
checking if it's available in one of the Dutch book shops, 'Van Pierre' in Eindhoven , usually had those, but haven't been there in the last 2 years...it's a must buy

enjoy the weekend all ,
 

AztecCamera

Well-Known Member
Reckon California Son is The California Son's masterpiece. Classic American artists covered by a classical American. I reckon why did this foreign rag have to put The California Son's most hated 3 people with him on a cover with the band he hates the most the smiths m8 in nnn nn n n n n n nnn n nnn nnn n it.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
"Interestingly, I think Uncut published the first review of Low in High School with a damning score (possibly 5/10) and the conclusion that it was his worst since Kill Uncle."

Well, magazines have different writers with different tastes. I've always found curious why people so often think that a writer's view = magazine's opinion.

LIHS got quite lacklustre reviews in general as the Metacritic score 59/100 proves (World Peace has 70/100, Years Of Refusal 79/100).
 

Emotional Guide Dog

Chairman Of The Bored
I like these reviews and comments from people along the lines of 'If you can separate the man from the music...' Is it just me that's been doing that for years? For almost all the time I've been listening to him I've been like, 'Good tunes but he isn't half a dickhead'
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
"Interestingly, I think Uncut published the first review of Low in High School with a damning score (possibly 5/10) and the conclusion that it was his worst since Kill Uncle."

Well, magazines have different writers with different tastes. I've always found curious why people so often think that a writer's view = magazine's opinion..

It's not that simple - magazines often have policies towards an act, and editors may over-rule the journalists. The NME has decided to rubbish everything that Morrissey does in the last three years (they gave World Peace 9/10) because of the ugly views he's been expressing (fair enough).
The Mojo LIHS review was very positive but the editor over-ruled and gave it a 6/10 mark.
Uncut and NME gave LIHS awful reviews, and are both owned by the same company (and share a pool of journalists) so it is a surprise that Uncut has been positive about California Son. My guess is that the record company gave Uncut a very early copy of the album (we won't see any more reviews for 2 or 3 weeks) with some guarantee of a positive review.
 
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