Morrissey A-Z: "At Last I Am Born"

BookishBoy

Well-Known Member

Today's entry on the A-Z is this, the closing track from Ringleader of the Tormentors: what do we think of it?

Is it "fabulously overblown and deliriously joyful" as the Guardian claimed, back in 2006?

Also: those of you who don't enjoy the letter A will be thrilled to know that we start on the B's tomorrow!
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
A lousy closer to a lousy album. I vividly remember trying to enjoy this one when it came out and I just couldn't do it. Waves of nausea by the time the children's choir comes in. Respect to Mikey Farrell, but it's not always a good idea to democratize the writing process within a band.

I saw the live debut of this one as well as six other Ringleader tracks and felt turned off by all but maybe two of them. Weird gig.
 
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C

carlislebaz

Guest
One of his greatest album songs.
Production, superb .... swings in with the LP very nicely.
Seen this live in Blackburn St/ George’s hall 05...
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I've always felt that this song is rather underrated and it was something of a breath of fresh air at the time.

It made a nice change for Morrissey to end an album on a positive note, and the lyrics suggested a different approach (which ultimately perhaps proved a red herring).

Musically I also think it was a much-needed shift and having Michael Farrell as part of the songwriting team briefly added an extra element to things. The cinematic feel provided some variety and benefited an already fine album.

In the poll on the other board it ranked 109 from 264 solo songs.
 

Mike Rourke

Active Member
I really wanted to like it - a new composer, a string arrangement but ... there's just nothing to it.
A weak closer to what must surely be Morrissey's most disappointing album.
 
J

Janice

Guest
One of his greatest album songs.
Production, superb .... swings in with the LP very nicely.
Seen this live in Blackburn St/ George’s hall 05...
It was 06 Barry, come on.
But, I’m more along the previous poster, I’ve tried to enjoy this album, but can’t. Don’t really rate this song either.
sorry ALIAB
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
I'm not keen on the sound the word born makes - or on artists thinking that trying to pretend they're harder & colder is a better way of being.

But it's a good song.
 

Gregor Samsa

I straighten up, and my position is one of hope.
Composition wise it’s weird. Thematically/lyrically it fits the album perfectly. It’s not a song I often return to, but ultimately I like it. Also, it’s a strong example of how happiness is fleeting.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
I don't know folks. This one sah-hucks for me. So stilted and forced, I'd go so far to say it is contrived.

Like Versa above - I tried to like it, but I actually end up angry at Moz and Mikey Farrell. It is one song where I do not allow myself to finish it. I get up and hit the button for the next song.

MrShoes
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
It makes sense as a conclusion to Ringleader, which as a whole feels like a massive unleashing act of release and lyrically it has some great elements like

I once used to chase
Affection withdrawn
But now I just sit back and yawn
(
Which I understand might be too tacky for some...)

and also

I once thought that time
Accentuates despair.


But at other times the lyrics are just lazy and seem more like sketches. The musical bombast doesn't translate well on the record and I never listen to it on its own. I never really listen to Ringleader anway, except for a collection of live recordings.
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
It makes sense as a conclusion to Ringleader, which as a whole feels like a massive unleashing act of release and lyrically it has some great elements like

I once used to chase
Affection withdrawn
But now I just sit back and yawn
(
Which I understand might be too tacky for some...)

and also

I once thought that time
Accentuates despair.


But at other times the lyrics are just lazy and seem more like sketches. The musical bombast doesn't translate well on the record and I never listen to it on its own. I never really listen to Ringleader anway, except for a collection of live recordings.

Musical bombast - yes ! Well-spoken.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The title is so promising but the song never delivers - disappointing lyrics (born/yawn/withdrawn etc) and no real vocal melody to save it, which is pretty rare for Moz. Weak. I preferred the "overblown" Quarry closer, "You Know I Couldn't Last."
 

GirlAfraidWillNeverLearn

The Courage to Get on People's Tits
Sidenote: Goethe, who was just as smitten with the Eternal City as Morrissey, referred to himself as "reborn" after arriving in Italy.
 
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Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Sidenote: Goethe, who was just as smitten with the Eternal City as Morrissey, referred to himself as "reborn" after arriving in Italy.

One of my relatives wrote a book about Goethe & perpetually gets enraged when I forget how to pronounce his name. I can't remember my own name most days!!

I think Moz was aiming for a kind of operatic high camp in the late 00s, early 10s... but he didn't quite manage it. His earthy sense of humour & authentic pain probably tripped him up. You have to go full mad scene Joan Sutherland for that kind of thing. Or full Lypsinka.
 

A scanty bit of thing

I only have eyes for youuuuuu, Aztec!
Loved everything about this entire album. It encapsulated a feeling, a perspective, it was at times an ode, and at the same time a reflection of mythical entreats

It is where grandeur meets depravity, and loss, and blinding beauty, and sin.

There is nothing to not adore here, and not to be swept away by. Musically, the pinnacle of the perfect incarnation of the lyrics.

This album was daring, and visionary, and stunning.
 
T

Trans

Guest
I like the intention but musically this song doesn’t really do anything for me as it just feels disjointed
 

MrShoes

"Ooo, there's goobers on his bod." - Ted Cruz
Subscriber
Loved everything about this entire album. It encapsulated a feeling, a perspective, it was at times an ode, and at the same time a reflection of mythical entreats

It is where grandeur meets depravity, and loss, and blinding beauty, and sin.

There is nothing to not adore here, and not to be swept away by. Musically, the pinnacle of the perfect incarnation of the lyrics.

This album was daring, and visionary, and stunning.

Wow - while I don't agree with your statement regarding this album, I gotta say I was intrigued with your verbiage! If anything, I may have to listen to it in its entirely once more just based on your words.

MrShoes
 
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