Yeah, you know them, I know them, my grandma knows them, The Smiths. To be honest, I've never been the biggest fun of them. I always thought that they are kind of alright and slightly overrated. Although I still don't think they are exactly the greatest band ever, this album grew on me a lot since my first listen with it.
The Queen is Dead is the definition of a classic. 37 years later, passionate fans of the band are still cuming all over this album, and it has been praised countless times over the years by now. Even though the band's discography is not very long, and they created music for only five years in total, their influence and legacy is undeniable.
It's undoubtedly one of the godfathers of indie pop, and it greatly influenced plenty of 90's bands. Despite their short discography, the band and this album specifically resonated with so many people, thanks to the band's strong personality, timeless songs and relatable lyricism. This project is certainly the band at their peak, with Morrissey's best songwriting, the band's best performances and their most consistent album as well.
This album is a classic for a good reason. Although I'm not in love with every song here, this is some of the best indie pop/rock you can get from the 80's. Some of the album's best aspects are its charm, ambition, catchiness and its emotional value and relatability. I can see why it's resonating with so many music fans.
The production on the album is quite incredible. It's mainly indie rock with a touch of post punk. The instrumentals are engagingly lively, diverse and captivating. I adore the album's dynamics and contrast between uplifting immediate tunes and depressingly bleak ones. Songs like I Know It's Over and Never Had No One Ever are very dark sonically and lyrically, while tracks such as Bigmouth Strikes Again and Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are more upbeat.
The album's brilliant structure and dynamics between dark and uplifting songs makes it truly an emotional roller coaster. Morrissey himself said that the making of this album was difficult, emotional and complicated. His raw emotions are clearly expressed throughout the whole album, and that is a part of its emotional impact.
Morrissey is pretty fantastic, sorry peggy. He has a very recognizably charming voice that makes him stand out quite a bit. While I think at times he can sound a tiny bit pretentious, he is incredibly expressive and passionate throughout the tracklist. He delivers plenty of iconic performances, if it's the heart breaking ending of I Know It's Over, or the timeless hook of the huge hit of the band There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.
Morrissey's writing is very unique as well. He has a playful humoristic attitude in a decent amount of the songs, but he can also be amazingly emotional and honest in others. Throughout the album's short 37 minute runtime, he dives into themes of loneliness, depression, death, religion and commentary about British society.
The highlight of the album is obviously the song There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, rightfully so. Although the song is far from being as complex as some of the other tracks on the album, it has a strong charm and a powerful sentiment to it. Simply put, It's about a lonely man, with no home, but he has his love who keeps him alive in a way, and he expresses his love towards her, saying that "if a double-decker bus crashes into us, To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die". The sentiment of even if they both die in a horrible way, it would still be peaceful and a pleasure for him, because he loves her so much, is beautiful and touching as it is unsettling and kind of depressing. One of the best love songs of... all time probably.
Like I said earlier, there are some lows throughout the album in my opinion. Songs like Vicar In a Tutu and the closer Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others are slightly underwhelming compared to some of the other songs. They are not as engaging production-wise, lyrics-wise and just as an overall experience.
With that being said, The Queen is Dead is a fantastic album by one of the most influential bands of the 80's. It's comforting, enjoyable, incredibly emotional and even funny sometimes. Don't show this review to peggy.
Favorite: The Queen Is Dead, I Know It's Over, Never Had No One Ever, Bigmouth Strikes Again, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
Least favorite: Vicar In a Tutu