Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors

Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors

2.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5

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One would assume with the flush of newly rediscovered lust, such as the kind permeating much of Steven Patrick Morrissey’s latest record, Ringleader of the Tormentors, that a sense of excitement and vitality would course through every track, rendering the former Smiths frontman as a 21st century, mopetastic Tom Jones. Close but not quite. Teaming with famed Bowie producer Tony Visconti and holing up in Rome, Morrissey’s follow-up to 2004’s widely acclaimed comeback You Are The Quarry is neither particularly compelling or sonically engaging. With the flood of adulation nearly drowning the Mozfather during his triumphant You Are The Quarry tour, it’s possible that the eternally preening vocalist has gotten lazy in light of unwavering fan support. This latest record certainly doesn’t sound as though he’s in any mood to push things forward: Content to wallow in aural dramatics, such as the totally unnecessary rainstorm effects during “Life Is A Pigsty,” and toss off lazy couplets that name-check Pier Paolo Pasolini and Visconti, Ringleader of the Tormentors feels colossally blasé, as though the Moz could hardly be bothered to rouse himself off his luxurious furnishings. Living la vita noiosa in Italy, Morrissey snaps out of it around “On The Streets I Ran,” but it’s too little, too late. Whereas You Are The Quarry was a welcome return to form, Ringleader of the Tormentors makes you wonder if seven-year gaps between albums are necessary.

Release Date
April 25, 2006
Label
Sanctuary
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