It's not easy being the furrowed-browed, pompadoured patron saint for all of the shy guys, shut-ins, and sexually ambiguous folks out there. For the better part of the 1980s and 1990s, Morrissey has carried you all on his shoulders, crafting beautiful pop songs that have served as therapeutic lullabies. Romanticizing the sadness of daily life can get downright tiresome, no?

Apparently not, as You Are the Quarry proves. The seven-year itch got to Moz, and he's made another album full of his own charming idiosyncrasies. Self-deprecation, black comedy, theatrical humor, and typically long-winded Morrissey song titles ("I Have Forgiven Jesus," "The World Is Full of Crashing Bores," "How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?") fill this Quarry. Narcissistic, Dorian Gray-esque tendencies are unraveled on the saddest song by far, "Let Me Kiss You," which tells the story of asking a lover to imagine someone else while they kiss only to open their eyes to an unattractive, slobbering mess. For the first single and video, "Irish Blood, English Heart," he's going for the younger crowd with footage of nubile hipsters bopping along -- and it's not a hard sell. There's something about his voice that transcends generations. It's mope on a rope, and we all want Morrissey to cleanse us. -- Terra Sullivan

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