Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quick Update: Ringleader of the Tormentors

Thanks to, I was able to listen to Moz's new album "Ringleader of the Tormentors". Moz fans would not be disappointed because this album is superb. I urge all listeners to have an open mind with no preconceived notions. Place "You Are The Quarry" or "Vauxhall and I" aside because you will definitely hear a more edgier Morrissey in this album. If there is an album I can compare it to, it would definitely be a conglomeration of Maladjusted, Southpaw and bit of early renditions from the Smiths. The album is not commerical friendly but may harbor 2 singles "You Have Killed Me" and "The Youngest was the Most Loved".

Track 1: "I Will See You In Far Off Places" - Da Moz opens up with hard and edgy guitar riffs like opening tracks from "Your Arsenal", "Southpaw Grammar" or "Maladjusted". Listeners can sense the middle eastern sounds in this track as well as Moz's disdain over the Bush regime.

Track 2: "Dear God Please Help Me" - A slow track mainly focuses on Moz's vocals. For once, his lyrics is gender specific. Although he mentions "he", it may open up to misinterpretation. Is Moz referring to another person or God? Very moz-like as his lyrics are very ambivalent! The lyrics are a bit revealing.....let's just leave it at that.

Track 3: "You Have Killed Me" - The first single off the album and an uptempo track. Very formulaic poppy track that is similar to "I Like You". Listen carefully, Moz adds a lot of Italian references, henceworth the lyrics : “Passolini is me.....Accatone will be....piazza kavour.....magnani will never be”. A great track but lacks the energy of Irish Blood English Heart.

Track 4: "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" - One of my favorite tracks and definitely sounds like the next single. Strangely, Moz used the Italian choir as the background vocals....very chilling to say the least.

Track 5: "In The Future When All's Well" - Another uptempo track but great falsettos from the Mozfather. Fun track, reminds me of Billy Budd

Track 6: "The Father Who Must Be Killed" - This is one of the weaker tracks. Sounds more like a B-side since the lyrics go nowhere.

Track 7: "Life Is A Pigsty" - Definitely my favorite track of the album. Smooth like butter, Moz's vocals are unbelieveable. This is an epic 7 minute track. Fans of November Spawned A Monster or Late Night on Maudlin Street will not be disappointed......."It's the same S......O.....S"

Track 8: "I'll Never Be Anyone's Hero Now" - An awesome track as Moz croons "I’ll never be anybody’s hero now – it only hurts because it’s true”.

Track 9: "On The Streets I Ran From" - Another uptempo track and follows the same ranks as "This World Is Full Of Crashing Bores". Sounds like a track from Radiohead....

Track 10: "To Me You Are A Work Of Art" - Great background guitar riffs, very Southpaw like

Track 11: "I Want To See The Boy Happy" - Very uptempo and upbeat track. Another one of my favorites - this song goes back to the Smiths' roots

Track 12: "At Last I Am Born" - Just like all of Morrissey's albums, he ends it with a different tone. Although i was hoping for a Speedway-like closing , this last track sounds very much like a toned down version of You Know It Wouldn't Last with a touch of musical theater vocals.

I think fans expecting the same type of experience from You Are The Quarry will be disappointed as this is a very very different album. This album has its 2-3 obvious singles, but it's a daring, risk taking epic sounding sort of record and I’m sure he will receive quite a lot of flack for it. Quite possibly the Moz may lose quite a few fans, especially the "First of the Gang to Die"-liking younger audience that he gained with Quarry. For this is a dark, dramatic and quite difficult record to get ones head spinning around. It feels very much as a "grower", actually. It will take quite a few listens before it “sits” in once heart and mind.

Although "Your Arsenal" is my favorite Moz album, Ringleader of the Tormentors is probably in the tier II.

Out of his 10 solo albums - Here's how I would rank it:

Tier 1. Your Arsenal, Vauxhall and I, My Early Burglary Years, Beethoven Is Dead, Live @ Earl's
Tier 2. Maladjusted, Ringleader of the Tormentors, Viva Hate, Bona Drag, Southpaw Grammar
Tier 3. You Are the Quarry, Kill Uncle

Well it looks like I will be listening to his album again till 1am and probably repeating Life Is Pigsty for the 50th time.

Aloha and Cheers,



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