Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Sound Check



“World Peace is None of Your Business”


The title track of Morrissey’s 10th solo album is one of the most eye-rollingly pretentious things he’s ever done. If you’re even slightly familiar with Morrissey’s work, you know what a tall order that is. Once he gets that out of his system, however, the 55-year-old former Smiths frontman settles into his groove. I mean, at no point do you ever forget that you’re listening to a Brooding Artist (once again, welcome to Morrissey), but at least you’re listening to an artist who broods really, really well. “Istanbul” is an emotionally gut-wrenching song about personal loss and gang violence, delivered with the weighty truncheon that only Morrissey’s voice can bring to something. The album gets maudlin at times, and there’s nothing here that will stand through time as a masterstroke. But there’s enough here to make the album appeal to more than just completionists. CV

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“Somber Gold”


Let’s start with a little good and bad: “Somber Gold” starts off really well. Opening track “Fires” is a solid little example of an alt-rock ballad, and it’s a nice introduction for anyone who might not be familiar with the band. But then they nearly undo all of that by following up with the simply terrible “New York.” The clean, uncluttered sound of “Fires” that makes great use of frontman Tanner Buckley’s vocals is bulldozed out of the way by the intro of “New York,” which is a midi-generated crapfest that sounds like the boss fight music from a forgettable ‘80s Nintendo game. Thankfully, “New York” is an outlier, and the rest of the EP is a solid listen. “Beach Side Disco Party” is particularly noteworthy for featuring some nice work by drummer Jacob Higgins. CV

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