I've Heard This One Before

Of course, as a stalwart Morrissey fan, I bought Years of Refusal on its first week of release. Was I as excited about it as much as previous releases? No.

The fact that "That's How People Grow Up" and "All You Need Is Me" were tacked on less than a year after I purchased them on the confusing Greatest Hits makes no sense to me. Why oh why were they put on a new album?

With every Morrissey album, despite what non-fans will say, there are new things to learn about The Man. Unfortunately, I don't think I've learned anything new about Morrissey on Years of Refusal.

That is not to say I don't enjoy the album. Years of Refusal is a piece of fresh air compared to the intensely reflective, dark and meandering Ringleader of the Tormentors.

It's musically upbeat with "subtle Mexican sounds" and I'm finding the melodies linger on in the way great pop music is supposed to. My favorite tracks are the rocking "Black Cloud" and the dramatic "One Day Goodbye will be Farewell."

I wasn't a fan of lead single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris," but I find myself humming it all week, so I suppose it does grab you when you least expect it.

Years of Refusal does have a stinker. "You Were Good In Your Time" sounds musically like "Ambitious Outsiders" on Maladjusted, and except for real strings, it sounds pretty dull and has the unfortunate title of being "the song I forget is on Years of Refusal" until it comes on.

The bizarre thing about Years of Refusal is that its rockier moments remind me of the sensitive arena rock that the band Gene was criticized for.

This might be the album Gene fans would love (and every Gene fan was a fan of Queen or The Smiths), but I'm not quite sure what that tells you about Morrissey.

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