Album: Years of Refusal
Label: Polydor/Universal
Rating: ***

There’s an over-the-top melodrama to Morrissey’s vocal delivery that you either love or hate. But there’s plenty on this new CD even Morrissey-haters can appreciate. The former Smiths’ frontman has hooked up with an exceptional four-piece crew of garage artists that lends an underlying edge to his hammy emoting. He’s even got guitar god Jeff Beck providing some superb cowboy/surf riffs on one track (Black Cloud). That’s fortunate, because otherwise we’ve got a middle-aged man anxious to get off prescription pills (Something is Squeezing My Skull) and crooning about how he can only find love in French architecture (I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris). Nonetheless, fans will again call this one of his best in years. They’ll even like the mariachi horns on When Last I Spoke To Carol.

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