The pleasure – the privilege is mine

I’m not the gregarious type, so the opportunity to have the office to myself today was always going to be welcome. And so it was, soundtracked by Mr Morrissey and the Smiths. The Smiths are great. All they’ve got on Spotify currently is The Sound of the Smiths, yet another compilation, but it’s a big’n.

I go through phases with the Smiths. Sometimes, when I’m trying to work out what to listen to on the way to work I scroll past a Smiths album and instantly I’m put in mind of something like This Charming Man, or William, It Was Really Nothing and I’ll subconsciously assume that anything I put on I’ll have heard a million times before, will be all jangly and bouncy and not really fit the mood for going to work. But when you really listen, you can make a startlingly musically sophisticated playlist out of various songs. This Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore could hardly be described as bouncy and would pair with Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me. Then How Soon Is Now, or Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want. (I’m starting to wonder if brevity of title is proportional to bounciness of song, but Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now would argue.)

Sometimes that slightly brash, punchy pop is what you need: Panic is joyous with it’s children’s choir of a chorus; the barrelling Nowhere Fast; the almost thunderous What Difference Does It Make?

Sometimes I’m in the mood for something really witty, and only the Moz’s lyrics will cut it, whether the crushing romanticism of There Is A Light That Never Goes Out; the devastating economy of Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, or the iconic dismissal of the entire foundation of British rule in The Queen Is Dead.

The best thing though, is that most often Smiths songs are not only literate, sharp and touching lyrically, but musically they’re both witty and elegant in themselves. I should listen to the Smiths more, there’s not a lot they can’t do.


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