California Son - member first impressions

alainsane

Charter Member (since 1998)
I am thoroughly pleased with the new album--after having hated World Peace and having disliked Low In High School. Even the "Lady Willpower" track which had me cringing a bit feels very good in the context of the album. It sounds like it's mastered a tad too loud on some songs, but it's not terrible on those loud tracks. I've uploaded full scans of the CD media into the site's media section. Cheers!
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
I love California Son! It's absurdly fantastic!

I like the mix of the album. The only problematic song for me is Wedding Bell Blues, but because of the style itself (Morrissey and BMG told me they will be releasing a special edition without it for me).

Other than loving the songs, I am shamefully surprised by the left wing tone of the album. I say "shamefully" because it is not surprising at all considering that it's an album by Morrissey... But the press has been so busy trying to demonstrate that Morrissey is almost a Nazi that they seemed to have completely missed the tone of the album.

It's a damn good album!!!
 

alainsane

Charter Member (since 1998)
I love California Son! It's absurdly fantastic!

I like the mix of the album. The only problematic song for me is Wedding Bell Blues, but because of the style itself (Morrissey and BMG told me they will be releasing a special edition without it for me).

Other than loving the songs, I am shamefully surprised by the left wing tone of the album. I say "shamefully" because it is not surprising at all considering that it's an album by Morrissey... But the press has been so busy trying to demonstrate that Morrissey is almost a Nazi that they seemed to have completely missed the tone of the album.

It's a damn good album!!!
Yes. The tone is exactly what I'd expect from Morrissey. Surprisingly, it's not entirely devoid of Morrissey's anti-police sentiment, but it's in a more palatable form than his own recent lyrical offerings.
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I listened to the album on Spotify yesterday and found it mostly redundant. But being what I am, I couldn't help buying it later on when visiting a record shop. Having listened to it some more I still find this an irrelevant curiosity, even though the album tracks have more substance than the horrendous singles (Lady Willpower & Wedding Bell Blues). Don't Interrupt The Sorrow and Days Of Decision are my favourites -- they would have made nice b-sides. Only A Pawn In Their Game is very ironic, because that's exactly what Morrissey is when it comes to For Britain.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
I really enjoy the album and I wouldn't describe it as "irrelevant" as several of these songs helped to make Morrissey into the artist that he is.

My hope for any covers album would be:

- That the songs differ from the originals and they certainly do here. Both in terms of the arrangements/productions and in terms of the vocals. Occasional the lyrics have been altered too.

- That the songs fit coherently together and again that's a tick. Focusing solo on American songwriters, and mostly from a specific era, means that this all blends together much better than it would have if he'd simply selected songs from random sources.

- That the running order makes the album more than a sum of its parts and I think that's one of the big pluses. The use of the more commercial songs in the middle of the album echoes some of Morrissey's self-penned releases (eg. Your Arsenal) and Some Say I Got Devil is a great and dramatic closer.

As Morrissey is also in fine voice I would say that as covers albums go, it does just about all that you could expect of it.
 

Oh my

Enough! or Too much
Yes. The tone is exactly what I'd expect from Morrissey. Surprisingly, it's not entirely devoid of Morrissey's anti-police sentiment, but it's in a more palatable form than his own recent lyrical offerings.
Well, you didn't like World Peace and Low in High School... I liked them a lot.

I am only surprised by the choice of Wedding Bell Blues as the big single of the album... Because it is somehow a very bizarre song for the usual style of Morrissey (though it is OK if the point was taking a risk and going very far from his usual style).

The other songs, I really like them all.
My favourite is It's Over and LP did an amazing job there
 

Eldritch

Well-Known Member
I really enjoy the album and I wouldn't describe it as "irrelevant" as several of these songs helped to make Morrissey into the artist that he is.

My hope for any covers album would be:

- That the songs differ from the originals and they certainly do here. Both in terms of the arrangements/productions and in terms of the vocals. Occasional the lyrics have been altered too.

- That the songs fit coherently together and again that's a tick. Focusing solo on American songwriters, and mostly from a specific era, means that this all blends together much better than it would have if he'd simply selected songs from random sources.

- That the running order makes the album more than a sum of its parts and I think that's one of the big pluses. The use of the more commercial songs in the middle of the album echoes some of Morrissey's self-penned releases (eg. Your Arsenal) and Some Say I Got Devil is a great and dramatic closer.

As Morrissey is also in fine voice I would say that as covers albums go, it does just about all that you could expect of it.
A good point well made -- but I'm really here for Morrissey's words, so him singing old songs from half a century ago doesn't really do it for me. With him now in his sixties and his penchant for burning bridges, I just hope he would use every available opportunity left to record new Morrissey songs. This BMG honeymoon could end any time. I hope that with the LIHS deluxe edition and CS he has finally got this cover thing out of his system and records an album of original material for 2020.
 

ordinaryboy86

Well-Known Member
A good point well made -- but I'm really here for Morrissey's words, so him singing old songs from half a century ago doesn't really do it for me. With him now in his sixties and his penchant for burning bridges, I just hope he would use every available opportunity left to record new Morrissey songs. This BMG honeymoon could end any time. I hope that with the LIHS deluxe edition and CS he has finally got this cover thing out of his system and records an album of original material for 2020.
Yep, always said Morrissey is getting too old to be wasting time releasing shit material. I believe he’s got a good album, or even two, left in him. He’ll continue to release music for as long as he’s physically able to stand up in a recording booth. But he needs to rethink the direction he’s going in, his band members, the synthy sounds, the cabaret cruise ship karaoke thing he’s got going on. He needs to go away somewhere and refocus, sit in a dark room and brood. Start writing about himself again, his introspective lyrics have always been what’s enticed and intrigued me. Now it’s just limp cover versions, or ham fisted political statements, telling people what to do and how to think. “World Peace Is None Of Your Business” & “Spent The Day In Bed” the lead tracks from his last two albums are prime examples of that, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, Stop watching this, stop watching that”. He lost me with the World Peace album, and more so with Low In High School, they were just awful, awful albums. And now his far right support. I’m still clinging on to fandom tho, and probably always will be a fan, but it’ll be for everything he’s done from ‘82-‘09.
 

Flibberty

Well-Known Member
A good point well made -- but I'm really here for Morrissey's words, so him singing old songs from half a century ago doesn't really do it for me. With him now in his sixties and his penchant for burning bridges, I just hope he would use every available opportunity left to record new Morrissey songs. This BMG honeymoon could end any time. I hope that with the LIHS deluxe edition and CS he has finally got this cover thing out of his system and records an album of original material for 2020.
Oh, I completely agree that I would like original material next time.

But a covers album should be judged on what it is rather than what it's not. And it is very good for the genre.
 
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