Home Read Classic Album Review: Morrissey | You Are The Quarry

Classic Album Review: Morrissey | You Are The Quarry

The Pope of Mope displays a renewed ferocity on his seventh solo studio release.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


“There is no one on Earth I’m afraid of,” claims Morrissey on his new album — like we all didn’t already know.

Come on, anyone who’s spent any quality time with The Moz and his music knows he never exactly been shy about speaking his mind or confronting his enemies. But on the stunning You Are The Quarry — his seventh album and long-overdue followup to 1997’s poorly received Maladjusted — the former Smiths frontman and patron saint of disaffected youth the world over comes out swinging with a venom and ferocity he hasn’t shown in some time.

Over a rich musical backdrop divided between crunchy guitar-and-synth pop-rockers and stirring, string-laced ballads, the velvet-voiced Pope of Mope lobs his deliciously wry and poisonous lyrical barbs at targets big and small: Religion (“Jesus hurt me / When he deserted me / But I have forgiven you Jesus”); romance (“She told me she loved me / Which means she must be insane”); vapid pop stars (“They’re so scared to show intelligence / It might smear their lovely career”); his own fame (“There’s a cash register ringing and it weighs so heavy on my back”); his native England (“I’ve been dreaming of a time when to be English is not to be baneful”); and, frequently, humanity in general (“This world, I am afraid, is designed for crashing bores”).

But the best shots by far are reserved for his new adopted home on the provocative leadoff track, America Is Not The World: “America,” croons Morrissey, “your head’s too big / Because America, your belly’s too big … Don’t you wonder why in Estonia they say, ‘Hey, you big fat pig.’ ” Yikes. Somebody might wanna tell Morrissey to tone it down a little. After all, he may not be afraid of anyone on Earth right now — but that could be because he hasn’t met Rumsfeld or Cheney yet.