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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Morrissey
Live at Earls Court
Sanctuary Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


May 13, 2005
It seems to me that Morrissey has special license when it comes to re-releases. His career has been built around a revolving set of songs which appear on numerous albums and are barely different from one other. Even when he was with sad-bastard saviors the Smiths, Morrissey had a taste for recycling material. The version of "Ask" that appears on The World Won't Listen is exactly the same on Louder Than Bombs, and a live, up-tempo version can also be found on Rank - not to mention the ubiquitous "Hand In Glove," which appears on four albums.

And yet these albums sell. If you want to call yourself a Morrissey fan, you can't just talk about your favorite songs, you have to talk about your favorite version of them. It wouldn't be far-fetched to hear two pompadoured hipsters discussing the raw charm of "November Spawned A Monster" from Beethoven Was Deaf as opposed to its polished doppelganger on Bona Drag.

No one can explain this bizarre fetish; there's no logical reason to have duplicates of the same song in your collection. Maybe Morrissey's insistence on re-releasing his stuff over and over again means something, but since his motives are too complex to untangle, we just trust that he has our best interest in mind and happily rush to the record store to get the extended version of an album we just bought a few months ago.

The latest entry in the Mozzer's repertoire, Live at Earls Court, isn't anything new, but that doesn't mean it's not great. Most of the tracks come hot off the presses of You Are the Quarry with only the subtlest variations; "Irish Blood, English Heart" is a bit slower, "First Of The Gang To Die" has a little more growl.

In a way, re-releasing brand new material automatically canonizes it. You Are the Quarry received moderate praise, but listening to Live at Earls Court, you'd think his latest songs were some of his best, sitting comfortably next to Smiths classics like "Big Mouth Strikes Again." This sounds like sacrilege, but it's hard not to appreciate the distinct Morrissey flavour (sic) of "I Like You" and "I Have Forgiven Jesus," tracks that went unnoticed on You Are the Quarry.

When he's not promoting the new stuff, Mr. Melodramatic is kind enough to play several of his classics. The album begins with a rousing rendition of "How Soon Is Now," and "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" is not far behind. The biggest surprise of the set is a playful cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach," where a reggae beat mixes things up nicely.

A major concern with any live album is, of course, sound quality - often, mics are placed wrong and the drums are too loud, or maybe the crowd reaction is overbearing. Thankfully, Live at Earls Court sounds pristine; Mozzer's vocals soar above the balanced accompaniment. And, recorded in London, the crowd is well-behaved, reacting only when prompted by Morrissey's restrained comments - "I know it isn't mutual, butů" is his only introduction to "I Have Forgiven Jesus."

The set closes with energetic renditions of "You Know I Couldn't Last" and "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me," and as he leaves the stage, Morrissey pleads, "Don't forget me." It's unlikely that we will, as I imagine he will continue to remix and re-release his collection for years to come - even if he never has another song to his name.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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