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Morrissey: Viva HateViva Hate (1988)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: gunsontheroofgunsontheroof
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Within six months of the Smiths’ breakup and only three months after the posthumous release of the swan song Strangeways, Here We Come, Morrissey was back in the studio with former Smiths producer Stephen Street behind the boards, and new songwriting partner Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column stepping into the large shoes of guitar god Johnny Marr. Right from the get-go, the distorted guitar wail and pulsating beat of “Alsatian Cousin” should make it readily apparent to the listener that Reilly is not trying to replace Marr, nor are Morrissey and Street trying in any way to recreate the Smiths' sound. That is not to say, however, that Viva Hate has nothing to offer your diehard Smiths fans. The album’s two singles, “Suedehead” and “Every Day Is Like Sunday” are classic mopers which can hold their own against any Morrissey-Marr composition, and remain to this day two of his most loved and iconic songs. While he is not known particularly for his humor or for writing light-hearted songs, he proved himself more than capable of both back in the Smiths with songs like “Ask” and “Sheila Take a Bow”; the U.S.-only bonus track “Hairdresser on Fire” is, like the aforementioned Smiths songs, at times empathetic, vain, and laugh-out-loud funny. Oh, and catchy as fuck.
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