Review #70: (Classic Album) The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

Artist – The Smiths
Album – The Queen Is Dead

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/5Y0p2XCgRRIjna91aQE8q7

The Smith were an English rock band from Manchester, Uk. The group consisted of Morrissey – vocals, Johnny Marr – guitar, Andy Rourke – bass and Mike Joyce – drums. Throughout the 80s The Smiths gained massive success through their interesting sound, complex lyrics and catchy songs (This Charming Man, There Is A Light …). The band were also known for their outspoken lead vocalist Morrissey, often having something controversial to say about the state of politics, meat or their music, which became a factor in their breakup. Many artists and music lovers note The Smiths as an incredibly influential band for them, Noel Gallagher notes Johnny Marr as his favourite guitarist and NMEs “Most Influential Artist Ever” poll had The Smiths in the number one spot. The Smiths only released four studio albums in their time together, The Queen Is Dead would arguably be their most influential.

The Queen Is Dead has a consistency and diversity throughout which works wonders. The diversity comes from the stylistics and genre of each song, we get the Johnny Cash styled ‘Vicar in a Tutu’, the oddly upbeat (for The Smith) ‘Frankly, Mr. Shankly’ and then the melodramatic sound of ‘Never Had No One Ever’. The consistency comes mainly from Morrissey’s signature vocal style, like marmite, many either love it or hate it, but you can’t say its not unique. As ever one of the most under-rated guitarists in rock (in my opinion) Johnny Marr writes unique songs and guitar riff/licks that fit perfectly with Morrissey’s delivery, also performing these numerous styles as if he’s virtuoso in all. Andy and Mike as the rhythm section create a smooth/tight back drop for the front men of the group to kind of show off over, although their performances are as skilled as Morrisseys. The Queen Is Dead also features The Smith most popular song ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’, arguably one of the best British rock songs of the 80s, creating a theme song for a generation … as well as a new generation in Hipsters today.

The Queen Is Dead is a masterpiece in guitar playing, song-writing, melodramatics and creating a new sound amongst many very similar bands.

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