Experimental feature

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00
Experimental feature

There should be rejoicing from Morrissey: after five years without a record label he’s back with a new album. But about the only note of celebration on World Peace Is None of Your Business comes when the vegetarian singer gloats about a gored toreador in “The Bullfighter Dies”.

“Nobody cries,” he flutes, “because we all want the bull to survive.” Dismayingly that’s the standard of his lyrics nowadays, a shocking fall from the heights of The Smiths. The clumsy writing makes his misanthropy indigestible.

The title track airily disposes of democracy (“Each time you vote you support the process”) while “I’m Not a Man” finds Morrissey disowning his gender with the declaration: “I’m something much bigger and better than a man.” (Like what? An elephant?)

“Humans are not really very humane” is the insight of “Earth Is the Loneliest Planet”, a sentiment illustrated by lumpy “Everyday Is Like Sunday” pastiche “Staircase at the University” in which a student throws herself down the stairs after being hounded to succeed.

It’s not all bad news – Morrissey’s keening voice is good nick despite ill-health, the music is embellished by snatches of Spanish guitar and mariachi trumpet and “Smiler with a Knife” is a sinister number linking sex and murder – but this sour, plodding album does no one any favours.

Morrissey

World Peace Is None of Your Business

(Harvest)

Get alerts on Music when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

Follow the topics in this article