Morrissey has never done anything half-heartedly. His brand of doom, gloom and wistful irony always hits the hyperbolic hilt. Even his B-sides are over the top, as evidenced on his latest record, Swords — a compilation of singles and hard-to-find songs from the last three years. Always plagued by low self-esteem, Morrissey finds himself obsessed with aging (he’s only just 50) and death, wondering, as he always has, if anyone will remember him when he’s gone. And while the answer from his audience has always been an emphatic yes, the message never gets through. Morrissey wails snidely with effortless wit. But it’s almost pitiful. As successful as he is, couldn’t he lighten up a bit? But then again, do we want a composed, happy Morrissey? We want the agonizingly introspective, histrionic, Sturm und Drang Morrissey. And for that, Swords gives us exactly what we’ve come to expect.
DOWNLOAD: “The Never-Played Symphonies”