Thursday, May 29, 2008

Five Songs, Chapter Twenty-Eight (Special Edition)

Over at his blog, my friend Strath responds to someone’s request for five favorite Morrissey songs (either solo or with The Smiths). This was tough, but here goes:

1. Panic

This is still tops for me. Even though it’s not his fullest lyric, and lyrics are such a key to his appeal, this is a perfect burst of a song. And unlike Blur’s “Song 2,” which is similarly brief but relies mostly on shouts of “Whoo-hoo!,” Morrissey does manage to squeeze in a sense of place (“the Leeds side-streets that you slip down / the provincial towns you jog ‘round”). The chants of “hang the DJ” that close out the song (“because the music that they constantly play / it says nothing to me about my life”) are infectious even the millionth time you hear them.

2. Half a Person

A lot of my favorite Morrissey songs are actually upbeat, musically, despite his reputation as a mope. But in this song, he’s got the mope switch set to stun -- he’s “clumsy,” “shy,” “morbid,” and “pale,” self-loathing and obsessed with someone else, and that’s “the story of (his) life.” But he makes misery sound so good.

3. Last of the Famous International Playboys

Maybe my favorite vocal moment of his is when he sings: “I never wanted to kill, I am not naturally evil. Such things I do just to make myself more attractive to you. Have I failed?”

4. The Boy With the Thorn in His Side

“How can they look into my eyes and still they don’t believe me?” We don't know, Morrissey. If anyone knew, I'm sure they would send it to you in a fan letter.

5. The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get

This is a great song overall, but it also has one of his most clever moments, when, as an unrequited lover/stalker, he sings, “I’ve made up your mind.” Brilliant.

And now the honorable mentions, since only Panic above has a spot guaranteed on the list from day to day: Girlfriend in a Coma, Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, Now My Heart is Full, Interesting Drug, Glamorous Glue, We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful, Sheila Take a Bow, and Please, Please, Please...



Blogger Mrs. White said...

Can't resist giving my five too. In no particular order:

"Please, Please, Please (Let Me Get What I Want)"

"Still Ill"

"The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get"

"Bigmouth Strikes Again"

"Irish Blood, English Heart"

(And "The World Is Full of Crashing Bores" gets the nod for being my favorite Moz song title, of which the choices are plentiful.)

5:00 PM  

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