Morrissey – ‘Low In High School’ Review

Moz’s strange 11th solo album starts off well enough, but soon goes seriously wrong

There’s no easy way to tell you this, but Morrissey is fixated with the bit between your legs. His 11th solo album is chockablock with crotch. On ‘Home Is A Question Mark’, he implores you to “wrap your legs around my face” and on ‘In Your Lap’ he delivers the grim news that “I just want my face in your lap”. You should also feel some trepidation when you hit ‘play’ on ‘When You Open Your Legs’.

If the tracks on ‘Low In High School’ aren’t crotch songs, they’re anti-war songs. There are, categorically, no anti-crotch songs. On ‘I Bury The Living’ he bellows, “Gimme an order! I’ll blow up a border! Gimme an order! I’ll blow up your… daughter!” It’s no ‘Shipbuilding’, but it does drive the point home.

Lead single ‘Spent The Day In Bed’ skitters across melancholia with a lilting refrain, while the lyrics – about the joys of ducking your responsibilities – sound as though they’re lifted from a ’70s novelty song. Yet ‘Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up On The Stage’ is the real standout; a tale of an actor whose ambitions far outweigh her talent, it’s brooding goth-pop laced with venom. In fact, the 12-song album’s first five tracks are passable, if not actually quite enjoyable. Beyond this point, though, only the most hardened Moz fan should dare to venture.

‘The Girl From Tel Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel’ is an unbearable cha-cha-cha; ‘Who Will Protect Us From The Police?’ is lumpen electro; and least listenable track ‘Israel’ sees him deliver political polemic via the dubious medium of a piano ballad. Moz has become pop’s greatest troll in recent years, and here he’s exhaustive in goading you to hit the ‘off’ button. It’s enough to make you put your head in your hands. Or, indeed, your lap