Swords

Compilation by released in 2009
Swords's tracklist:
Good Looking Man About Town
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Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice
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If You Don't Like Me, Don't Look at Me
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Ganglord
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My Dearest Love
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The Never-Played Symphonies
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Sweetie-Pie
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Christian Dior
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Shame Is the Name
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Munich Air Disaster 1958
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I Knew I Was Next
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It's Hard to Walk Tall When You're Small
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Teenage Dad on His Estate
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Children in Pieces
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Friday Mourning
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My Life Is a Succession of People Saying Goodbye
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Drive-In Saturday (live in Nebraska, 11.05.2007)
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Because of My Poor Education
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Swords review

A new chapter in Morrissey’s solo career

Steven Patrick Morrissey, known as Morrissey, rose to prominence in 1980’s owing to his role of vocalist and lyrics author in an alternative rock band The Smiths. In 1987, after the band break-up, Morrissey began his solo career, in which he continued the sound of The Smiths. His solo albums have garnered ten Top 10 singles in the United Kingdom. The whole world considers Morissey as one of the most significant innovators in Indie music, and reliable British magazine New Musical Express has called him «one of the most influential artists ever». Morrissey has become eminent owing to his unique vocal and talent for writing lyrics, which sometimes are sad and cold, sometimes – ironical and amusing. He sings about doomed love and despair, about the burden of the past and prison of home, and whatever his lyrics are about, they always strike with beauty and stay in listeners’ hearts forever. In 21 years of solo career Morrissey has recorded 9 studio albums and 9 compilations. In October 2009 the world saw the release of his 10th album consisting of 18 b-sides recorded during his last four studio albums. Swords is an exclusive “alternate side” of the artist’s work of the previous years.

Swords: a look at the work from new perspective

The disc has 18 tracks which were not included into other albums, and the limited bonus version includes 8 extra songs recorded during the live performance in Warsaw 2009. The majority of the tracks are previously unreleased songs from singles to You Are the Quarry, though in the first, stronger half, the atmosphere of the Ringleader of the Tormenters prevails. Almost all songs were recorded together with Alain Whyte, except for Christian Dior – a story of a man lost in the world of fashion, style and glamour, which was written with Boz Boorer, and experimental Sweetie Pie, featuring keyboard player Michael Farrell. “Sweetie Pie, I'm ending my life because I've fallen in love,” – warped vocals of Morrissey in Sweetie Pie restlessly tosses and hides in the maelstrom of sound effects, pleading for release from love agony and gradually sinking in the waves of music. The absolute pearl of the album is The Never Played Symphonies – the main character lies in his death bed reflecting on the past days and values of life, not regretting anything but unwritten symphonies. Of course, the album doesn’t have all the b-sides but only the noteworthy ones – attention should be paid to Shame Is the Name including a cameo from The Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, and Munich Air Disaster 1958 telling the story of an air crash which killed players of the Manchester United football team. Another remarkable song is David Bowie’s Drive-In Saturday cover version with modified lyrics so now it’s about New York Dolls, not The Rolling Stones.

Still full of energy

Morrissey has turned the musical world, as well as lives of millions of people around the world, upside down. He is one of the fathers of Brit-pop, and The Blur, Oasis, The Cranberries, Suede, Beck, Placebo – these are just some bands which wouldn’t have been the way we love them if it was not for Morrissey. After his come-back in the new millennium from a seven-year silence the artist has recorded three glorious discs – You Are the Quarry, Ringleader of the Tormentors and Years of Refusal. And despite the fact that usually compilations of b-sides are not so popular among listeners – who needs things that were not included into official albums by the artist himself – the musician takes the risk and brings his fans the possibility to see the full picture of his work of the last years, look behind the curtain and enjoy the previously unreleased songs. And after listening to the disc we become sure that the risk was high, but it was justified. Morrissey manage our expectations again – everything we love him for is still on top – both the profound lyrics, and his velvet alien vocal. This album is another evidence of the fact that Morrissey is full of energy to conquer the world again.

Sergey Ivanov (12.11.2009)
Rate review4.65
Total votes - 23