Morrissey: Provocateur Emeritus

“I think entertainment should explain reality and not escape it.”

[caption id="attachment_201349" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Photo by Sam Rayner[/caption] “Spent The Day In Bed,” the leadoff single from Morrissey’s latest album Low In High School, his eleventh LP as a solo artist, advises a temporary retreat from society for those wishing to escape the madness of the modern world. Had Morrissey applied this advice to his own career and let it go fallow in favor of a well-deserved respite, no one would begrudge him; he could easily assume the mantle of alt-rock’s Provocateur Emeritus and let younger artists carry the torch. From his time fronting The Smiths, as influential and enduring as any band from the ’80s, to a solo career that includes ten consecutive Top 10 albums in the U.K., his is a catalog that doesn’t take a back seat to anyone. If the tank of songs that mingle unabashedly romantic sentiment with pointedly political declarations, all delivered in his velvety, wounded croon, was empty, his iconic status would remain unassailable. How then to explain Low In High School, which climbs yet another career peak? Morrissey’s fearlessness in taking on the powers that be with direct hits rather than glancing blows is as refreshing as it ever was, and he…

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