Morrissey: World Peace Is None of Your Business (Harvest) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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World Peace Is None of Your Business


Jul 16, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Morrissey is one of those artists now—inarguably not in his peak era, still adored by an (incredibly, near-sycophantically) fervent fanbase, and still cranking out music with some degree of a predictable pace. He’s one of those living legends, to some degree, iconic of an older form of popstar, iconic of an era of alternative and college radio to which many contemporary bands are indebted. Some of those types stall out and become walking greatest hits collections. Others, like Moz, plug along steadfastly, settling into a rhythm of consistently releasing good, sometimes great, music that is welcome as long as it doesn’t wind up tarnishing the aforementioned legend.

So: World Peace Is None of Your Business doesn’t change any of that. Musically, it’s more or less of a piece with Morrissey’s output from You Are the Quarry onwards. What that basically means is that with a release like this, where you aren’t going in expecting surprises or some listeners are going in precisely because they don’t want surprises, it comes down to the strength of Morrissey’s songs and lyrics, the shape of his voice and the viciousness of his wit. As Morrissey starts to exit middle age, neither of those things has shown much sign of letting up, even in the wake his well-publicized (and tour-canceling) health issues. World Peace Is None of Your Business isn’t the album you’d play to convert your friend who’s never heard of the man, but it’s another strong effort if you’re already onboard.

While the record is consistent with the recent arc and style of Morrissey’s career, the thing itself is less so. There’s a rough balance between stuff that feels a little bit conveyor-belt-Morrissey, and the stuff that that stands out. The title track is inert, the sort of thing he can probably write in his sleep at this point. Likewise, it’s a minor shock that Morrissey’s made it this far without having written “I’m Not a Man,” a song in which he eviscerates a series of masculine stereotypes. It’s very, very Morrissey, to the point where it teeters on self-parody, but it’s worth sitting through for the noisy, cathartic outro.

Once you wade through the lesser songs, there are prime Morrissey cuts here. The man still has a way with a pop song. “The Bullfighter Dies” is essentially a Britpop song, or at the very least has a Britpop horn part. “Kiss Me a Lot” has the kind of chorus you find stuck in your head alongside old favorites like “Suedehead.” The clear standout out on the record, “Istanbul,” sounds like it actually is a classic Morrissey song that should’ve been released over 20 years ago. Even if Morrissey wasn’t a perennially fascinating and controversial figure, material like this would make these late career albums notable. As long as he’s got that stuff up his sleeve, it’s good to still have him around. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Nancy Townsend
August 20th 2021

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