Review of World Peace is None of Your Business by Morrissey
Morrissey is best remembered for his time in The Smiths and weirdly dancing round with flowers. He has a back catalogue longer than the arms of a man with extremely long arms. Morrissey, doesn’t do things in the normal way. In 2010, the star published a list of the top albums from his back catalogue and termed it, “the albums I am most proud of”. To the surprise of many, not one reference to any of his albums with The Smiths or even for his critically acclaimed solo album Viva Hate. What could be considered a deliberate attack on the commercialism facing music, even courting his own music as a demonstration, I prefer to think, its just another indication of Morrissey eccentricity.
Musically, for me, World Peace is None of Your Business, is a little difficult to grasp. Perhaps understandably and deliberately by Morrissey and his backing band, given the top list. The backing provides as much gusto as it does unorganised (or perhaps organised) chaos. Sometimes there is just noise, sometimes there is expert composition. The noise and distortion is part of the production but to be completely honest it feels a bit distracting. The drumming is expertly executed, but at times there seems to be an effect added. In short, whilst the music is at times brilliant by the backing band, it sometimes flatters to deceive.
The brilliant thing about World Peace is None of Your Business is exactly what makes his music special. In I’m Not a Man, Morrissey sings about why he doesn’t conform to standard macho expectations of being a man. Although, I am not sure he really had to explain himself, his demeanour, lyrics and build hardly make you think he is anything but a creative, thoughtful soul. Not the type you would expect to see brawling down the pub on a Saturday night.
The album is lifted further by great tracks such as Smiler With Knife and Staircase at the University, both of which demonstrate Morrissey at his best. Brilliant melodies and accomplished vocals. These aren’t isolated tracks and several other highlights on the album are present. The album is more upbeat than its predecessors and Morrissey seems much more an intrinsic part of the overall sound rather than being the only part of the sound with the rest revolving around him.
The back half of the album goes a little darker. Several rants appear to bring us closer to Morrissey of old, but World Peace is None of Your Business never seems to transcend in to the depths of depression and political rants of previous Morrissey albums. He does seem to display a bit of an issue with kids though. Not sure Morrissey is a fan, so don’t let him babysit for you.
Overall though, World Peace is None of Your Business is a good record. Whether or not the mood change is enough to get you dancing or even to lift your mood, it is a good album. Not my usual cup of tea, but nonetheless worth a listen.