"California Son" reviews in Mojo (3 stars, June 2019), Uncut (7/10, June 2019) & others

Two reviews added to the "Official reviews for California Son" thread starting here:

Mojo review by Ian Harrison (3 stars) - info / scans posted by Famous when dead, crotty32
Uncut review by Stephen Troussé (7/10) - info posted by an anonymous person, scan posted by Famous when dead
Louder Than War Magazine review - (5/10) info by Anon
 
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Anonymous

Guest
This would have made a lot of sense if it was written 20 years ago.
Sadly, the lyrics have been on a downward slide since the 1990s and they have now, arguably, become the very worst element of a new Morrissey song (with the odd exception).
The lyrics to songs like 'When you open your legs in bed' are just utterly bloody awful. A massive cringe-fest. 'God bless Israel' is one of the most idiotic songs ever written (although the music is great).
He still does have a lovely singing voice, however, so a covers album where he has absolutely zero input to the lyrics is, sadly these days, the very best we can now hope for.

You're obviously not a fan. So why are you coming to these pages?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You're obviously not a fan. So why are you coming to these pages?

Fair question but I am a fan - just a critical one.
'I Thought You Was Dead' is a great song - Most of 'Low in High School' was lyrically awful but musically pretty good. I'm looking forward to the new album because he still has a very appealing singing voice, and he hasn't written the words. It could therefore be his most enjoyable for years.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
You're obviously not a fan. So why are you coming to these pages?

I don't agree with this idea that being a fan of an artist means you automatically love everything they do without question. That's a blind follower or sycophant. This site would be a lot healthier, IMO, if people could intelligently discuss what they like/don't like about Morrissey's music without instantly being called "trolls" when they express anything short of adoration. Granted there are also some straight out haters that spew nothing but negativity toward Morrissey and I'm not talking about them. Just because someone thinks Morrissey's older material is better than the newer material hardly makes them a hater or not a fan.
 
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SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
This would have made a lot of sense if it was written 20 years ago.
Sadly, the lyrics have been on a downward slide since the 1990s and they have now, arguably, become the very worst element of a new Morrissey song (with the odd exception).
The lyrics to songs like 'When you open your legs in bed' are just utterly bloody awful. A massive cringe-fest. 'God bless Israel' is one of the most idiotic songs ever written (although the music is great).
He still does have a lovely singing voice, however, so a covers album where he has absolutely zero input to the lyrics is, sadly these days, the very best we can now hope for.

I tend to agree about an overall decline - although I see Quarry and World Peace as very good post 90s albums. Some seem to think this covers album is a huge faux pas, but so far the songs have been good and it seems to be well received even critically- so what's the harm?

On this tour, if he limits it to 3-4 cover songs and the rest are a solid selection of songs that span his career (and no MiM), these shows could be really fun for the audience.
 
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ringrosso

Throbbing Member
Well, I really like all 3 songs released thus far, plus Chain Gang & I thought you were dead. So on recent(ish) output, I’m pretty pleased with Moz.

I’m a Bowie fan and I love Pin-ups. I’m expecting to enjoy CS just as much. For me it was somewhat inevitable that Morrissey would end up doing a covers album, and the song choices would always be somewhat obscure.

As for calling it karaoke, that is overly disparaging. Morrissey and the Smiths did cover versions and whilst not always solid choices/songs occasionally they hit the mark. By way of example, I’d say the Satellite of Love didn’t really work, however, his version of Back on The Chain Gang is a marvellous success.

As a singer myself there are times when I really connect with a song and the words become my own (after a fashion). This can come about by a belief in, and love of a song, the emotion comes across, and is palpable and relatable.

I’d suggest that there is an argument that his choice of songs and their lyrics, is him expressing ‘himself’. Why MUST the words be his own? Most of us have favourite actors, all will likely agree that it is the way those lines are delivered that can move us. Yet film-to-film, these words are hardly unique to and of the actor, they are written by different people.

Down the years, Morrissey has lifted many, many lines from sources other than his own head, some of them great and memorable others throw-away. Of his own lyrics I’d say they are among the best I’ve listened to in my life, but even in early Smiths songs there are some lyrics that are cheesy and cringeworthy. And, maybe we’d forgive some of his more recent lyrical offerings, those deemed clumsy and crass if they had been couched in more inspiring, creative and entertaining musical material.

Maybe, just maybe, opening himself to other collaborators and their ways of working will give Morrissey a spur to create yet more classic, powerful and relevant songs.
 
This would have made a lot of sense if it was written 20 years ago.
Sadly, the lyrics have been on a downward slide since the 1990s and they have now, arguably, become the very worst element of a new Morrissey song (with the odd exception).
The lyrics to songs like 'When you open your legs in bed' are just utterly bloody awful. A massive cringe-fest. 'God bless Israel' is one of the most idiotic songs ever written (although the music is great).
He still does have a lovely singing voice, however, so a covers album where he has absolutely zero input to the lyrics is, sadly these days, the very best we can now hope for.

Nah, Low In High School was a great album. I even liked the Israel song. Side A was excellent Side B was good but not great
 

Famous when dead

Vulgarian
Moderator
Initial advert:

Out Now:

Morrissey is in the latest Louder Than War Magazine.
I've not sourced a copy yet, but a heads up to the magazine collectors out there
(I believe the reviews eventually end up on their website after a while).
Regards,
FWD.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
California Son review in 'Louder than War'

An odd one. The review itself (when it describes the songs) is very positive - reads like an 8 or 9/10.
But the reviewer awards it 5/10 due to Morrissey's increasingly toxic views. All the reviews to date have mentioned the latter but none seem to have knocked their scores down, accordingly...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
What about Viva Hate and Vauxhall&I, that's only till 1994...but music is personal, so I don't judge you, but be aware about generalize
You may want to look up 'since'
Those two lps came BEFORE YOR
 
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Sheila Bow

Guest
The problem with Morrissey doing a karaoke album is not in the music, the production, certainly not the vocals(IMO he has never sounded better), and heck, even the song choices aren’t horrible. That last point potentially could have been one of contention considering Morrissey’s music tastes can oftentimes be headscratchers. The Smoking Popes (they really sucked, anyone who argues otherwise is tone-deaf), Kristeen Young, come to mind immediately(same story there, alot of hype but she doesn’t write memorable enough songs to get over her pretentious caterwauling, akin to the perturbed loser in an alley cat scruff amongst starving felines). He actually chose good music this time for his covers album California Son. They are also relatively unknown songs so for many it is almost like listening to never heard before new music. Even the Roy Orbison diddy “It’s Over” though hugely popular in its time, was from so many generations ago Morrisseys' 30 and under fans most likely have never heard it.
So the major “problem” or drawback to Morrissey doing karaoke, is the fact that Morrissey fans are Morrissey fans to hear his point of view. He is arguably the greatest pop lyricist to ever pen pop songs. Devoid of his wit, sarcasm, humor, controversial politics, homo-eroticism, human-eroticism,…the whole gamut you get when you go pick up a new Morrissey album; the record is missing the most vital essence of why you listen to Morrissey in the first place. California Son redeems itself with the aforementioned strengths, but ultimately it is like getting your prom dates dress off... only to hear her say “Not tonight Billy, I think we should wait”.
Smoking popes Born to Quit album was pretty good. Full of catchy tunes. The singers admittedly slightly flat vocal actually complimented the bands music, as did Morrissey's sometimes flat contributions to the Smith's. Morrissey obviously disagrees with you so I suppose he must be tone deaf.
 
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