Low in High School is the eleventh solo studio album by English singer Morrissey, released on 17 November 2017 through BMG. It was produced by Joe Chiccarelli, and recorded at La Fabrique Studios in France and at Ennio Morricone's Forum Studios in Italy. The album debuted at number 5 on the UK Albums Chart.
But Low in High School returns him to his most utilitarian purpose: a spokesperson for youthful melancholy. This theme surfaces both in the album title and its cover art-Morrissey’s first in over two decades not to feature his own visage. The first single, Spent the Day in Bed, even plays like the 58-year-old’s spin on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a magical day spent shirking one’s obligations, delivered with a prescriptive, winking omniscience. In a recent interview, Morrissey pinpointed Low in High School ’s driving concern: Can young people ever be carefree again? The album’s most agreeable moments are when he posits romance-as opposed to bitter provocation-as the answer. In the breezy, stomp-clap swing of All the Young People Must Fall in Love, he vaguely takes aim at Trump and delivers the titular command as a beacon of hope for his devoted legion of loners.
But Low in High School largely cleaves to the model of its two less stellar predecessors. Like 2009’s Years of Refusal and 2014’s World Peace Is None of Your Business, its main musical currency is wilful ugliness. Opener My Love, I’d Do Anything for You’s glam stomp is blitzed with corrosive guitars, churning electronics, a deafening, discordant brass arrangement and, somewhere in the background, a plethora of distorted screams and cries. What it all amounts to is your standard Morrissey solo album: great songs cheek-by-jowl with songs that would once never have got past reception; brilliance alongside stuff that boggles the mind; not bad, but not built to reach far beyond his standard fanbase. A state of affairs that, alas, may bring us to the traditional stage four, in which Morrissey denounces his new record label as part of the ever-burgeoning global conspiracy ranged against him.
Waking up to my usual breakfast of parboiled kippers, grapefruit juice, quinoa cakes and a rusty petrol can of the stored piss of an alcoholic tramp who died in 1972, I take up my headphones to listen to an advance copy of the latest Morrissey album, Low In High School, which has been hailed as a landmark record. Said Morrissey last year of the music industry in which he works, It is severely controlled and monitored to make sure that any singer with a political message cannot get through.
Moz’s strange 11th solo album starts off well enough, but soon goes seriously wrong. There’s no easy way to tell you this, but Morrissey is fixated with the bit between your legs. His 11th solo album is chockablock with crotch. On ‘Home Is A Question Mark’, he implores you to wrap your legs around my face and on ‘In Your Lap’ he delivers the grim news that I just want my face in your lap. You should also feel some trepidation when you hit ‘play’ on ‘When You Open Your Legs’. If the tracks on ‘Low In High School’ aren’t crotch songs, they’re anti-war songs.
The first single off Low in High School is an overcooked clump of wet noodles, covering up a few actually tasty meatballs (sorry, tofu balls) smothered beneath. This isn’t the track that should have been picked to launch this album cycle. Besides, how excited can a person possibly get by hearing a 58-year old man sing about how he loves his bed while warning us to stop watching the news? Judging by that song alone, mixed with his latest foot in mouth parade, it would be more than easy to throw this album in the trash and be done with him forever. Sure, it all sounds Morrissey-esqu. et like a Morrissey album that came from a producer pushing a big red button marked, MORRISSEY ALBUM EFFECT, on a sound board. Fortunately, our Ibuprofen kicks in as I Bury the Living gets the blood pumping in a pretty clear Fuck All Government kind of way.
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