Sound: One of his most consistently rockin’ albums ever. Particularly in the first half, the meaty riffs and hard charging percussion just keep coming, and are occasionally peppered with frisky Spanish guitar, forlorn trumpets and lush strings. Of course with Morrissey, the accompanying musical sounds are always mere window dressing for him to unleash his melodramatic crooning and mope about being unlovable and misunderstood.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Mama Lay Softly On the Riverbed”; “Something Is Squeezing My Skull”
Medium Rotation tracks: “One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell”; “All You Need Is Me”; That’s How People Grow Up”; “I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris”; “Black Cloud”; “When I Last Spoke To Carol”
Recommended: If you’re one of those people that think Morrissey’s solo work has never matched up to his output with The Smiths (which is an unreasonable standard to hold him to), it would be hard to argue that this is the album that will change your mind. And if you’re sick of (or never much cared for), Morrissey’s over-the-top, comical outlook on life and relationships, you’ll certainly want to continue to keep your distance. But for the many that still care, Years of Refusal is one of his better solo albums to date, and the most consistent release he’s put out this decade. It lacks killer singles for sure, but the first eight tracks in particular show he’s still got plenty of fight and poisonous wit left in him.