Smiths

The Smiths

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by The Smiths
     
 

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A riveting four-piece from Manchester, England, the Smiths had two unforgettable elements. The first one was Johnny Marr, a powerfully focused rhythm-guitar player full of concrete riffs and effortless rhythms. The second was the unforgettable Steven Patrick Morrissey, the morosest Mancunian of all time. Lacking the authority of Marr's compositions, Morrissey might

Overview

A riveting four-piece from Manchester, England, the Smiths had two unforgettable elements. The first one was Johnny Marr, a powerfully focused rhythm-guitar player full of concrete riffs and effortless rhythms. The second was the unforgettable Steven Patrick Morrissey, the morosest Mancunian of all time. Lacking the authority of Marr's compositions, Morrissey might never have risen from obscurity; but with them his weepy, self-flagellating concerns took on a formidable grandeur. The band's debut made them an instant sensation in the UK and college radio staples Stateside. "What Difference Does It Make" is a classic Morrissey moan for a failed love affair, while elsewhere, as on the arresting "Hand in Glove," he mocks what relationships he does have. But the real joy of the record is Marr's compact song constructions, nearly every one of which contains indelible riffs ("Hand in Glove") and sparkling melodies ("This Charming Man," "Reel Around the Fountain").

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Arriving in an era dominated by synth pop and gloomy post-punk, the Smiths' eponymous debut was the bracing beginning of a new era. On the surface, the Smiths' sound wasn't radically different from traditional British guitar pop -- Johnny Marr's ringing, layered guitars were catchy and melodic -- but it was actually an astonishing subversion of the form, turning the structure inside out. Very few of the songs followed conventional verse-chorus structure, yet they were quite melodic within their own right. Marr's inventive songwriting was made all the more original and innovative by Morrissey's crooning and lyrics. Writing about unconventional topics, from homosexuality ("Hand in Glove") to child molestation and murder, Morrissey had a distinctively ironic, witty, and literate viewpoint whose strangeness was accentuated by his off-kilter voice, which would move from a croon to a yelp in a matter of seconds. While the production of The Smiths is a little pristine, the songs are vital and alive, developing a new, unique voice within pop music. Though the Smiths continued to improve over the course of their career, their debut remains startling and exciting.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/25/2009
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0825646886579
catalogNumber:
520968
Rank:
7910

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