Stephen Patrick Morrissey, former frontman of The Smiths, has had a monumental solo career since the band’s split in 1987. As a long-time fan, Morrissey has made me laugh and cry, but with his new single “Spent the Day in Bed,” I felt something new. Disappointed.
While I have never looked to him for uplifting messages, or even really depended on him for inspiration, I have always respected his style and message. In the first single of his album “Low in High School,” set to be released in November of this year, Morrissey seems to transition from an activist to a tired old-timer.
In his defeated lyrics that appear to be a response to the current state of the world, the solution he offers seems to be complete passivity. He gives us three pieces of advice: quit your job, stay in bed and whatever you do, don’t watch the news. Even though this message isn’t completely off brand for Moz, his intent seems to have shifted to something less impactful.
I don’t think his attack on the news (which I have to admit I took a little personally) is unjustified, but I do find it unproductive. It seems strange to hear a man who recently got a Twitter account to promote his single preach blindness to the media.
“Stop watching the news! / Because the news contrives to frighten you / To make you feel small and alone / To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own.”
In addition to abandoning all hope, he also seems to have lost elements of his sound which made him stand out. The single is more friendly with synthetic sounds and deviates further from the guitar riffs that contributed to his fame.
The one thing Morrissey does stand up for, and the one thing I think he got right, is advocating for self care.
“Life ends in death / So, there’s nothing wrong with / Being good to yourself / Be good to yourself for once!”
However, this single was not enough to dissuade me from my admiration. I look forward to re-evaluating the song as a part of a whole, and hearing the rest of his 11 featured tracks. The one exciting element of the single drop was the announcement of a U.S. tour. We can only hope that “Low in High School,” his first full-length album since 2014’s “World Peace is None of Your Business,” will incite more than sleepiness from the listeners.