31
Jan
12

Review: The Smiths’ Strangeways, Here We Come

Artist: The Smiths

Album: Strangeways, Here We Come (1987)

The Smiths never put out a bad album.  Maybe that’s because being together for only five years wasn’t enough time to do so.  It hardly matters.  Their last album, 1987’s Strangeways, Here We Come — a perfectly titled final album if there ever was one – is a culmination of everything that came before it.  “A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours” is another strong opener, following in the tradition set forth by “The Queen Is Dead” and “The Headmaster Ritual.”  Strangeways features one of The Smiths greatest songs, the dark and creeping “Death of a Disco Dancer,” but people are likely to be more familiar with “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” and “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before,” but there’s nothing wrong with that; a good single is a good single.

If you’re not used to Morrissey’s biting critiques and cynicism, there is certainly no helping you now.  “Paint A Vulgar Picture” is a pop song about record companies endlessly trying to squeeze every penny from an artist’s work as they possible can: “oh, the plans they weave/oh, the sickening greed.”  The Smiths are no strangers to compilations, box sets and re-issues – particularly on vinyl – so there is some irony there.  And finally, perhaps for the first time in their discography, the album ends with a rather sweet song in “I Won’t Share You.”  The Smiths end their recording career on a high note, one of their highest, in fact.

4.5/5

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