Morrissey, the lyricist

skull

Active Member
Am I wrong or too often throughout his career the lyrics are the weaker side of his songs?
Don't get me wrong, I love Morrissey, but I think his lyrics are a bit overrated.
Often he's great but too often he's lazy, his words are not enough, repetitive or plain silly, and that ruins many songs in my opinion.
I don't like it when he repeats and repeats and repeats: Love is on its way out. Okay, I agree and then? The lions... yes you've already said that!
Another aspect I don't like is when it is not clear what he's talking about: It's not your birthday anymore... what is it?
What is your opinion?
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
No, I love them. He's always dramatic, strange & startling. And he's one of the best tragi-comic writers there is.

Theatre's loss was pop's gain.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
He's inconsistent. When he's on form, the lyrics are amazing. When he's not, they're lazy or plain embarrassing. He once wrote that Kill Uncle happened because they were just "Recording for the sake of recording" and when it comes to lyrics, I think you can really tell when he's just going through the motions and not trying.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
No, I love them. He's always dramatic, strange & startling. And he's one of the best tragi-comic writers there is.
What, every single one over nearly 40 years? Come on, he's written some absolute shite.

Could it be, he's only got one knee?
Babies full of rabies, blah blah blah
Elephants and lions
Can't find a table for yer fat Aunt Mabel
I'm just a sweet little soldier
Etc etc..
 
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Nerak

Reverse Ferret
What, every single one over nearly 40 years? Come on, he's written some absolute shite.

Could it be, he's only got one knee?
Babies full of rabies, blah blah blah
Elephants and lions
Can't find a table for yer fat Aunt Mabel
I'm just a sweet little soldier
Etc etc..

I wasn't scrutinizing every line.

I love him as a lyricist. And I don't think he's over-rated.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I wasn't scrutinizing every line.

I love him as a lyricist. And I don't think he's over-rated.
What a way to dodge/ignore the point.
 

SuedeMoz

Well-Known Member
IMO The Smiths and early solo work, absolutely. From mid-solo work on there seemed to be less importance on lyrics but maybe more put on vocals? Still gems to be found here and there, "Come Back to Camden" as an example.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
What a way to dodge/ignore the point.

I addressed your point.

A writer doesn't have to be perfect to be a great writer & although I don't have the issues you have with his later stuff it still wouldn't make him bad or overrated.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Am I wrong or too often throughout his career the lyrics are the weaker side of his songs?
Don't get me wrong, I love Morrissey, but I think his lyrics are a bit overrated.
Often he's great but too often he's lazy, his words are not enough, repetitive or plain silly, and that ruins many songs in my opinion.
I don't like it when he repeats and repeats and repeats: Love is on its way out. Okay, I agree and then? The lions... yes you've already said that!
Another aspect I don't like is when it is not clear what he's talking about: It's not your birthday anymore... what is it?
What is your opinion?

It’s subjective more than anything.

For me it’s a mood thing and satisfying what I need in that moment. Sometimes I can’t listen to The Smiths or Viva Hate but I still want to hear THAT VOICE, but I also want something that’s more to the point with a different energy, so instead of reaching for Strangeways I’ll listen to Low in High School or IANADOAC.

I don’t really think of his writing as either bad or good, it’s all great, it’s just different than before. His writing style is kind of like choosing a Bowie album to listen to, there’s something there for you however you’re feeling, and if not, then I’ll just listen to a Bowie album ! :lbf:


PLAY AT MAXIMUM VOLUME
 

skull

Active Member
I addressed your point.

A writer doesn't have to be perfect to be a great writer & although I don't have the issues you have with his later stuff it still wouldn't make him bad or overrated.
Nobody is saying he's a bad lyricist. But he is often lazy, to the point of being the weak side of many musically interesting songs. Paris is an example, or knockabout world...
Still I love him, I think he's still doing very good music, but I often think he could just be less lazy and try a bit more.
 

skull

Active Member
It’s subjective more than anything.

For me it’s a mood thing and satisfying what I need in that moment. Sometimes I can’t listen to The Smiths or Viva Hate but I still want to hear THAT VOICE, but I also want something that’s more to the point with a different energy, so instead of reaching for Strangeways I’ll listen to Low in High School or IANADOAC.

I don’t really think of his writing as either bad or good, it’s all great, it’s just different than before. His writing style is kind of like choosing a Bowie album to listen to, there’s something there for you however you’re feeling, and if not, then I’ll just listen to a Bowie album ! :lbf:


PLAY AT MAXIMUM VOLUME
I agree, but I think some songs NEED an extra line, or a change, or a little surprise. Instead they fall flat. I think of Who will protect us from the police, or You're the one for me fatty. His catalogue is plenty of thrown away lyrics, which could have been better just with a little effort.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Am I wrong or too often throughout his career the lyrics are the weaker side of his songs?
Don't get me wrong, I love Morrissey, but I think his lyrics are a bit overrated.
Often he's great but too often he's lazy, his words are not enough, repetitive or plain silly, and that ruins many songs in my opinion.
I don't like it when he repeats and repeats and repeats: Love is on its way out. Okay, I agree and then? The lions... yes you've already said that!
Another aspect I don't like is when it is not clear what he's talking about: It's not your birthday anymore... what is it?
What is your opinion?

Don't be daft.

Love is on its way out is, at its core, a pop song.

The Beatles' Love Me Do probably contains more Love Me Do's than Morrissey's Love is on its Way Out's. But that's ok as they are pop songs.

Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
Repetitive lines are the name of the game
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Nobody is saying he's a bad lyricist. But he is often lazy, to the point of being the weak side of many musically interesting songs. Paris is an example, or knockabout world...
Still I love him, I think he's still doing very good music, but I often think he could just be less lazy and try a bit more.

I think he’s really given us enough of himself, no? If he is, as you say being lazy, then that’s fine too! let the man kick back and rest on his laurels, if that’s the case.

For most people it’s really about the voice. As one can see there are many that listen to Morrissey passionately, but with English not being their first language they most likely don’t understand all that he’s saying, but it comes through in his voice.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I agree, but I think some songs NEED an extra line, or a change, or a little surprise. Instead they fall flat. I think of Who will protect us from the police, or You're the one for me fatty. His catalogue is plenty of thrown away lyrics, which could have been better just with a little effort.

Yes, it’s fine to vent. I can see how you may think some of his songs NEEDS this or that, or that you think he has ‘plenty of throw away lyrics’, it’s your opinion, and you’re not alone.

But unfortunately in your situation you can either not buy the record or not go to the show and maybe that financial loss will make him rethink some of his song writing choices, but I doubt it will.


Anyway, there may be a method in his madness.

;)
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Nobody is saying he's a bad lyricist. But he is often lazy, to the point of being the weak side of many musically interesting songs. Paris is an example, or knockabout world...
Still I love him, I think he's still doing very good music, but I often think he could just be less lazy and try a bit more.

I don't think it's lazy - he wanted something more direct & lately when he's less direct his ideas have a tendency to get guddled, which is a spiritual problem, not a technical one.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Morrissey hasn't really written a good line in about fifteen years, but he had two decades of brilliance before that so I can't say I agree with your assertion.
 

skull

Active Member
Yes, it’s fine to vent. I can see how you may think some of his songs NEEDS this or that, or that you think he has ‘plenty of throw away lyrics’, it’s your opinion, and you’re not alone.

But unfortunately in your situation you can either not buy the record or not go to the show and maybe that financial loss will make him rethink some of his song writing choices, but I doubt it will.


Anyway, there may be a method in his madness.

;)
I am a fan, I love him and I always will. I appreciate all his albums from the first to the last (except Kill Uncle). So, don't think I am here as a hater. I am not ;)
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
Morrissey hasn't really written a good line in about fifteen years, but he had two decades of brilliance before that so I can't say I agree with your assertion.

There’s really no bad or good, right or wrong. It’s art, it’s subjective. So it might make more sense to say
that one prefers this song or songs over the other song or songs, and that is all.

If I don’t care for an artist’s work then it won’t get my attention, positively or negatively.

And I don’t feel that Morrissey owes
his fans anything in regards to his choice and direction in the end result of his work. Not saying you think this.
 

Ketamine Sun

HANG THEM HIGH VERONICA
I am a fan, I love him and I always will. I appreciate all his albums from the first to the last (except Kill Uncle). So, don't think I am here as a hater. I am not ;)

I believe you :thumb:
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
There’s really no bad or good, right or wrong. It’s art, it’s subjective. So it might make more sense to say
that one prefers this song or songs over the other song or songs, and that is all.

If I don’t care for an artist’s work then it won’t get my attention, positively or negatively.

And I don’t feel that Morrissey owes
his fans anything in regards to his choice and direction in the end result of his work. Not saying you think this.
Even subjectivity has its limit and it can be found somewhere in the general area of “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?”
 
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