Tuesday, January 20, 2004

#97) Morrissey - Bona Drag (released in 1990, purchased on used cassette at Arboria, a local record store, some time in college. The first time I attempted to buy it, I accidentally grabbed a copy of Kill Uncle instead. I wasn't pleased.)

Compiling early singles and b-sides (not to mention rescuing the finest songs off of his otherwise overponderous debut Viva Hate), Bona Drag is usually the first Morrissey solo album I recommend to people (especially if I don't think they'll appreciate the glam swagger of his best later material, though I certainly do). While songs like "Interesting Drug" and "Suedehead" won't exactly inspire statements like "Johnny who?" they certainly provide a solid musical backdrop for the Mozzer's memorable declarations of pith and pine. As wonderful as his lyrics get here, part of Morrissey's appeal for me will always be the non-verbal swoons he emits when the music is particuarly inspiring. Check out the choked gurgles that precede the titular choruses of "Hairdresser On Fire" and "Last Of The Famous International Playboys," or the moans that follow the latter's moog-peppered bridge; if the music fits the mood of his lyric, he's more than willing to stop playing Oscar Wilde and just croon along wordlessly. It's this surrender that makes me sympathetic to his moonier moments (plus the fact that us straight outcasts often dare not say our love's name either).

No comments: