Thursday, March 4, 2010

Song of the Day: The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead

I first tried The Smiths in high school with a greatest hits collection, but it didn't take.  I was probably more interested in grunge or alt-rock or whatever, and Morrissey's croon just did not resonate with me.  It wasn't until after college that I gave them another try, buying The Queen Is Dead based on reviews from and Rolling Stone.

What struck me immediately with the eponymous first song was...wait a minute, this kind of rocks (well, I mean if you discount the "take me back to dear old Blighty" part).  And Morrissey's voice, which I originally found whiny, is actually quite pleasant, for lack of a better word.  It amazes me that this is a band to which people gravitate in high school, because what I like about The Smiths - and particularly Morrissey - now is that the lyrics are often quite hilarious and self-deprecating, and my teenage self just didn't understand it.  Take this passage from "The Queen Is Dead":

She said, 'I know you and you cannot sing'
I said, 'That's nothing, you should hear me play piano'

These are details I overlooked the first time through (and what Smiths/Morrissey detractors are also missing), and the lyrics are one of the many reasons The Queen Is Dead is now one of my top 10 albums of all time.

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