(Lost Highway)


While “age can undermine lesser rockers,” it suits Morrissey well, said Will Hermes in Rolling Stone. Ever since 2004’s You Are the Quarry, England’s drama king has shown unusual energy for a man approaching 50. The title of his ninth album, Years of Refusal, is another clear sign that Morrissey won’t be going quietly into rock-’n’-roll retirement. The album “comes as a gratifying shock” to those expecting Morrissey to mope through middle age, said Tom Ewing in Pitchforkmedia.com. He has made his “most vital, entertaining, and savage record” in a decade, and he did it without reinventing himself. Morrissey instead has “rediscovered himself, finding new potency in his familiar arsenal.” Woe still becomes him, but so does bravado, as when he croons in “All You Need Is Me”: “You don’t like me but you love me / Either way you’re wrong / You’re going to miss me.” This is Morrissey “as pugnacious, confident, and necessary as he’s ever been.”