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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Meat Is Murder

The Smiths

1985

Meat Is Murder

Album Summary

Meat Is Murder is the second studio album by English rock band the Smiths, released on 11 February 1985 by Rough Trade Records. It became the band's only studio album to reach number one on the UK Albums Chart, and stayed on the chart for 13 weeks. The album was an international success: it spent 11 weeks in the European Top 100 Albums chart, peaking at number 29. It also reached number 110 on the US Billboard 200, in the United States.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.32

Votes

5979

Genres

  • New Wave
  • Post Punk
  • Indie
Reviews
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Tue May 11 2021
2

In my life I haven't so much as knowingly listened to a Smiths song, let alone an album--a blind spot I've long been keen to eliminate. So this was an exciting task. But also a bittersweet one, as I knew I would be forced to adjudicate on that grey area between not only the album's objective quality and my subjective enjoyment of it but the band's. One listen of one album is no way to do that. And yet there I was yesterday evening, a pawn in this cruel game, my hand forced to commit crimes against music I'd never dreamt of. Reservations and objections aside, I diligently discharged my duty. Here is my meagre judgement: It Was Quite Good. Morrisey's affectedly self-absorbed vocals dancing widdershins around Marr's dexterous guitar lines, ostensibly independent of each other but really in some kind of synch, is immediately arresting. As is the rhythm, is more energetic than I expected. Less so Morrisey's fey digressions and whimpers--clearly there's lots to hear but not much stood out (ON ONE SINGLE SOLITARY SOLE LISTEN, I HASTEN TO ADD). This unusual combination evidently coheres, yet I'm going to be conservative (though fascist may be more appropriate here) because a) my interest was piqued only in short bursts, and b) from this evidence of the band's talent, plus one or two things I’ve heard elsewhere, I suspect they made much better albums than this. And I want to reserve my extra stars for those should they pop up and prove my suspicions correct. And if I start too high--giving this a 3, for example--and then like the next one more, I'll be compelled to give it a 4. But what if I don't think the next one’s a 4? More of a 3. But it’s only by listening to the second album that I realise I've overrated the first. I'll be ensnared in a cycle of overrating The Smiths, which seems both unfair on me and them. Life is hard. And yes, meat is indeed murder.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Luckily this album was recorded before we knew Morrissey was A Bad Man. In 1985 he was merely a pompous man with a compelling turn of phrase quite unlike anything that’s cropped up in music before or since. No-one sings about bottoms quite like your man Stephen Morrissey. And yet, the star of The Smiths’ music always has and will be Johnny Marr’s arrangements. The glistening, shimmering, bright counterpoint to Morrissey’s turgid melancholy. The tension between woe and glory as Marr and Morrissey tussle for supremacy is what they are all about. And Marr wins, every time.

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Sun May 09 2021
5

Mozz and Marr decided to give poor Andy some free reign as a joke, but the resulting album was so powerful they had to make The Queen Is Dead to punish anyone who liked it. Suck my nuts indieheads- this is the real (gay) man's Smiths album

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Tue Mar 16 2021
2

Morrisey sounds like he is singing in the shower, didn't really like it.

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Sat Oct 30 2021
3

What more can you wish for Marr's guitar, Morrissey's lyrics and then the ruin it by letting Morrissey sing.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
1

I'm not sure why this album makes me so cross. Maybe I'm disappointed that I missed out on something because I don't, "get it". Anyway, it's wrong and I'm right. NAA.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

That's fucking punk right there

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Great guitar, niche vocals. I like it a lot, full of bangers, That Joke, What She Said, Barbarism, and only 9 songs long. Maybe my favourite Smith's album.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
5

The title track is dour, but the rest of this album is fantastic, musically brilliant, adventurous and generally just really catchy with its overt pop and funk influences and some of Morrisey’s sharpest lyrics (even if he is an insufferable cunt). Now excuse me while I enjoy eating this steak.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Glad I read everyones' reviews before writing mine because I also had the line "Morrissey is an insufferable prick" written in my notes. So I'll just say he's an asshole, but I do love his music. The Smiths developed such a cool sound that so many other bands tried to bite but could never really pull off because Morrissey has such a distinct crooning vocal sound. Baritone I think? Been awhile since my choir days. Anyway, those guitars really drive these songs! Morrissey always sounds so morose but then those guitars come in and sound all upbeat and rollicking and boom theres another great Smiths song. I know its a joke that the Smiths are sadboys to the extreme (I counted and there's only 1 song's lyrics that doesn't explicitly use the word die, dying, or talk about death) but Morrissey's forlorn pining for love and purpose strikes a chord with most everyone, which makes for relatable jams. I know there's vegetarians in this group and I'm knocking vegetarianism but man was he being way melodramatic with that "Meat is Murder" track. "..the unholy stench of murder....you savor the flavor of murder," with cows mooing in the back! C'mon Morrissey. Still though a pretty great album and I will begrudgingly give Morrissey props.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

As much as I've heard this album (on account of my husband plays it sometimes), you'd think I'd be able to tell the songs apart. Other than The Headmaster Ritual and the title track (on account of its farm noises), I really can't. I would never choose it but I don't mind it.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
3

I like the smiths alright and this was one of their biggest albums but I can't really get into this one as much. It's weird cause I like the album before this one and the album after this one much more. I'd bet that the latter one, "the queen is dead" is on this 1001 list too. "Well I wonder" is probably my favorite track on the album. Morrissey gets all the glory but Johnny Marr is severely underrated in the US. Moody brooding.

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Mon Mar 08 2021
3

With their second proper album Meat Is Murder, the Smiths begin to branch out and diversify, while refining the jangling guitar pop of their debut. In other words, it catches the group at a crossroads, unsure quite how to proceed. Taking the epic, layered "How Soon Is Now?" as a starting point (the single, which is darker and more dance-oriented than the remainder of the album, was haphazardly inserted into the middle of the album for its American release), the group crafts more sweeping, mid-tempo numbers, whether it's the melancholy "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" or the failed, self-absorbed protest of the title track. While the production is more detailed than before, the Smiths are at their best when they stick to their strengths -- "The Headmaster Ritual" and "I Want the One I Can't Have" are fine elaborations of the formula they laid out on the debut, while "Rusholme Ruffians" is an infectious stab at rockabilly. However, the rest of Meat Is Murder is muddled, repeating lyrical and musical ideas of before without significantly expanding them or offering enough hooks or melodies to make it the equal of The Smiths or Hatful of Hollow.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
3

J'avais failli oublier que Morsay était le chanteur des Smiths avant d'ouvrir sa boutique de prêt-à-porter à Clignancourt. L'album est sympatoche mais le rock des années 80 commence un peu à me taper sur les nerfs si tu vois ce que veux dire Robert...

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Mon Sep 27 2021
3

Johnny Marr is one of my top-three underrated guitarists. I can't stand Morrisey.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
3

Man, it is such a shame about the severe back problems Andy Rourke developed from carrying The Smiths all those years.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
2

A little bit of Morrissey goes a _LONG_ way.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
1

Struggled to get through this. Some Smiths songs are alright, but this seems to be an unfocussed mess to me. Not even sure if Morissey is working on the same tunes as the band. But I guess this meandering of melody and tempo is what draws people to it. Definitely not me though.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

The Headmaster's Ritual is 🥵

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Really good album that seemed way before it's time

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Damn good

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Tue May 11 2021
5

YES!!!!

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

man, what can i say about this album that I dislike.......there's not much. The Smiths is one of my top 10 bands of all time, due to their amazing sound, lyrics, and importance of the time and the reach their influence had, even changing people's views on food! This album was also my introduction to Morrisey and that world of music, and it definitely helped shape my taste in music and what i considered to be good music. I mean there are so many good tracks on this album "Nowhere Fast", "What She Said" are amazing, but the entire album is damn near perfect.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Esse sim é meu tipo de música!

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Thu Apr 15 2021
5

The bass on this is killer. great tone. I never knew that Morissey was my defacto english new wave vocalist. Yea holy cow the bass work is awesome. i like how the album shifts dynamically and it doesn't fail to grab me.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
5

No second album syndrome here. Marr’s guitar and Morrissey’s lyrics and voice combine to offer a uniquely recognisable blend of melancholy angst and musicality that is still a joy to listen to

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

WT - really enjoyed the music interesting how much random nature sounds are featured. Rain ect

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

I dropped everything and listened to this. I'm sorry I just love The Smiths. The queen season 4 has better prepared me for the Thatcher references. Clearly #9 was Doja Cat's inspiration for MOOO!

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Wed Mar 10 2021
5

сразу стоит оговориться, что между зэ смитс и зэ кьюр я всегда выбирал зэ смитс, и предложенный альбом на данный моментъ прослушан такое количество раз, что адекватно оценить его уже не получится. но с другой стороны могу понять и негатив, ибо сам, помню, ещё в школе пытался данный альбом слушать и весьма желчно отплёвывался потом, так как душа просила митола и ганста репа. но чем старше становился — тем более проникался группой зэ смиты как явлением — фигурой моррисси, его надменным юмором, гитарной работой джонни марра, тугими и хлестикими басовыми рифами этого. ну, их басиста, короче. И на данный момент этот альбом вижу как один из столпов, на котором впоследствии будет держаться большой кусок более современной и привычной нам музыки, будь то рурок, постпанк, индюшатина и прочее непотребство. Лучше бы не держалось, ну да ладно. Непосредственно из претензий могу дать щелбана только песне Rusholme Ruffians, ибо даже меня она начинает душить под конец своей предсказуемостью и отсутствием интересных фишек. Лучше бы выкинуть её вообще нахой или двинуть во вторую часть альбома. А в остальном — очень крепкий, местами боевой, местами меланхоличный релиз под дождливую погоду и ночные прогулки по ярославским брайтан-бич. Кавер на песню «Перемен» группы Кино я бы вообще включил в десятку любимых песен эвер. 5/5

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Fri May 07 2021
5

I really enjoyed the ambiance of this album. The title track is so moody, I love it, and it's a great way to end the album.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Älskar detta album sedan innan

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Mon May 10 2021
5

One of the new Smiths albums I never bought. But this is a classic Smiths sounding album.

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Sat Aug 07 2021
5

My third favourite Smiths album, but still a 5. Was gonna go 4 before listening but the guitar work and lyrics alone make it a 5/5.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
5

9 bombazos de canciones. Un disco imprescindible para mí, en la música que oía en el instituto y en todo lo que vino después. La música que me hizo estudiar inglés por mi cuenta a pesar de que en mi colegio aún andábamos con el francés como lengua extranjera. Icónica portada, icónicas letras, mágica la guitarra de Johnny Marr e hipnótica voz de Morrissey. Ninguna de sus canciones está entre las 10 más escuchadas de The Smiths pero os aseguro que merecen todas la pena. 5 estrellas.

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Tue Sep 14 2021
5

Fantastic. Underrated.

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Tue Sep 28 2021
5

4,5

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

Barbarism at home is like Кино meets the Killers.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Второй студийный альбом The Smith. Вокал Моррисси, треки How Soon Is Now?, Well I Wonder.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Weirdly, never listened to this before. Should have.

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

I am an unapologetic Smiths fan and love this album. I've probably listened to it end-to-end over a dozen times and was happy to do it again. Some of the best bass work and hooks in their oeuvre on this one.

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Fri Oct 29 2021
5

My original introduction to the Smiths in 1985. Morrissey and Johnny Marr are amazing. They don't sounds like anybody else and I've always been intrigued by how Morrissey fits such complex lyrics into the music. Fantastic... even the buzzsaws.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

Absolute classic, what I hate about Morrissey is how great the Smith's stuff is. Truly remarkable music and lyrics takes you somewhere else,somewhere fragile, beautiful and dangerous. Just a shame it was created by an absolute twat.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

Punchy hits and incredible compositions, the Smiths at their very best. Marr’s guitar layers over Rourke’s and Joyce’s rhythms create such a fantastic counterpoint to Morrissey’s dark and bleak lyrics. A perfect Smiths album Top tracks: The Headmaster Ritual, I want the one I can’t have, Barbarism begins at home, Meat is Murder

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Sat Nov 27 2021
5

Though a bit heavy handed at times, Meat is Murder is a classic album. Johnny Marr’s clean jangly guitar and Morrissey’s vocals and unique melodies come together seamlessly to create some of the most identifiable music of the post punk/new wave era. This is not my favorite Smiths album, but it is still top notch.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

One of the best albums of the 80s and this is even without some of their strongest songs from that period that were only released on single!

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Sat Dec 25 2021
5

My top Spotify artist of 2021, fuck yeah! I can’t get enough of The Smiths. The emotional, social, political intensity of the lyrics with the one-of-a-kind catchy jangly Marr guitar work is a heady and addictive pairing. It’s a killer combo for me every time.

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Sat Dec 25 2021
5

9,5/10

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Haven't listened to this in one sitting for decades. Still an excellent whole of an Album.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

The first number was already sounding really good, this gave me hope for the rest of the album. It kinda reminded me of a mix between The Dire Straits and David Bowie. Halfway through the album it still sounds great. A bit of 60/70's rock is something I can really appreciate.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Whenever I come across the album and its title, I feel bad because I'm complicit in the death of these succulent creatures. The music, however, doesn't make me feel so bad. This is quite great from front to back, no filler. When the album features songs like The Headmaster's Ritual, This Joke Isn't Funny Anymore and Barbarism Begins at Home, there is no point in feeling that there's a wrong. Everything's just right here.

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Cool album! First time listening to the Smiths. Actually have nothing bad to say.

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

A personal classic, Meat is Murder is a study-work companion since graduation. I enjoyed the opportunity to revisit this album and listened during my thesis research. Still a favorite!

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Mein liebstes Smiths Album. Weiß gar nicht was ich da groß zu sagen muss. Meine fav Tracks hier drauf sind: The Headmaster Ritual, I Want the One I Can't Have, That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, Well I Wonder und Meat is Murder für die geilen animal sounds!! Grüße meine Mama von der ich die Platte geklaut habe die sie mit 20 gekauft hat

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

Probably the most raw Smiths albums, both lyrically as musically. It's a bit harder and a bit more serious than other albums (even though there's still enough humour to be found) The speedy funky basslines on this album in combination with Marr's incredible guitar-work really get a lot more swing going than on other albums. And Morrissey has things to say about hitting children ("Barbarism Begins At Home"), eating meat ("Meat Is Murder"), Depression ("That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore") Homosexuality and also unrequited love in the absolutely beautiful "Well I Wonder". "Gasping - dying - but somehow still alive this is the final stand of all I am Please keep me in mind" An absolute 5* amazing album, front to finish. Even the lesser songs are top.

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

amazing album, 10/10 you gotta love The Smiths

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

I don't think that there's anything bad you can say about The Smiths. Unless you are a bad person.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
5

The best "flat pitch" singing in the business. I love this band. This isn't my favorite album by them, but it contains their two best songs: That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, and How Soon Is Now.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

A top-five of all time for me, the soundtrack of my middle school years. This has all of the best songs, and stylistically it’s the most diverse of all their albums.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

My preferred Smiths album. I don’t even dislike the title track that much, though it’s still a miss in terms of pacing

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

okej album.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Faking smithsi i faking vegetarijanci.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

Chock full of a tasty blend of malaise and melancholy

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

With the exception of the title track, every song on this is excellent

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

I remember how thrilling this album was when it first came out, just before I graduated from university. It seems to explode out of the blocks with The Headmaster Ritual and never lets up. Wonderful.

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Tue Apr 19 2022
5

sad bitch sustenance.

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Fri May 06 2022
5

Hey Morrissey SHACK eats lamb chops, what ya gonna do about it?

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Tue Jun 21 2022
5

It's everything I like about The Smiths. Great stuff. Fave track - "How Soon is Now?", if that's allowed. Probably my favourite song of theirs over all. "Meat is Murder" if we're picking from the original tracklist...

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

I heard JPEGMafia loved Morrissey so much that he wrote a fan song about him. He seems like a really pleasant vegetarian who must really get along with immigrants to the UK.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

there’s absolutely an element of nostalgia going into this review (my mom loves the smiths), but i really enjoyed this. morrissey is morrissey, but johnny marr has some amazing work on this album. every song sounds similar, but they all sound great so i’m fine with it. the meat is murder track is wild, super into it.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Yesterday, Viva Hate, today my favourite Smiths album. Title track is a dirge but everything else is sparkling and wonderful. Favourite song: Nowhere Fast. Really should learn how to play it.

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Sat Aug 27 2022
5

Fluid guitar play, beautiful melody. Like the "Well I Wonder".

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Fri Sep 09 2022
5

MARAVILLOSO

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Not their best, but as every Smiths album easily 5 stars for this one.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

Classic Smiths

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

Great album. I love how the songs flow into each other, but it does mean that a couple of them get lost in the sauce. Overall, I prefer The Queen is Dead, but this is still very solid and has 4 or 5 standout tracks. Plus the cover art is 🔥

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Yes, The Smiths. The Headmaster Ritual is super good. The album as a whole is great. That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore is on this album. The End. Best Smiths Album. Man, all the songs on this are great.

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Mon Oct 31 2022
5

Yeah, Moz is fash garbage now but this is forever peerless.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

This isn't my favorite Smiths album, but I love it anyway. This band is my guilty pleasure away from my heavy metal headbanging.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

Might be my favourite Smiths album, and that's saying something. Headmaster's Ritual, What She Said, Barbarism Begins at Home (that bass line KILLS!) and especially Rusholme Ruffians are among The Smiths most underrated songs. Throw in classics like That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore, Well I Wonder and of course How Soon Is Now and you have yourself a 5 star album.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

Sent me down a rabbithole that lasted several weeks to the point where I've fallen behind on this. Dark and sad, but... sensual?

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Mon Dec 12 2022
5

A true British classic of the time. Morrissey is a bit of a dick now though

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Wed Jan 11 2023
5

Immediately listened to a different record as soon as this finished, love it

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

Brilliant album

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Mon Oct 12 2020
4

7

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Morrissey is an ass but man is this a great album. I'm jokingly calling it "the godfather of Emo". Love Johnny Marr's guitar playing, never takes center stage but always creating an atmosphere that is distinctly his. Favorite tracks: "I Want the One I Can't Have", "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"

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Mon Nov 23 2020
4

Is Smiths, what do you expect? Got some Morrissey chanting in your ears, and the shoegaze rock and roll of the band, what's not to like.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

Cool calm rock

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Mon Mar 22 2021
4

Good album. Enjoyed Marr’s guitar playing a lot throughout the album. I really like and hate Morrissey’s voice at the same time. I like it on its own, but I feel like it kinda sounds the same in each song, although maybe I wasn’t listening closely enough. Wish Morrissey was a better person, I really think he could’ve been if it wasn’t for his massive ego. I think that seeps into the lyrics more than I’d like. Still a good album and would listen to again.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

moz > jesus

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Kind of a low-key Smiths album. Not quite on the same level as my favorites- Queen is Dead, Strangeways, and Louder Than Bombs. I do love the title track, despite being a carnivore. I think it’s a sincere expression of a deeply held belief.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Title track is annoying, but overall album is good.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Er værd at høre igen

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

Awesome bass lines, great guitar riffs. Pompous lyrics. Good album, worth another listen

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Good album, easy to lose yourself in

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

Love the feel of this, even if the message is off.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Great easy listening, and some absolute classics! Glad to have listened to this.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

Alright

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Fri Jan 15 2021
4

This album is depressing. Even looking at the track list it feels downtrodden. Not to say it isn't good, as I do think this is a good album. I've heard singles here and there from the Smiths, it wasn't something that grabbed me but hearing songs like "That joke isn't funny anymore" and "Nowhere Fast", will bring more of their music into my rotation.The instrumentals in this are far more upbeat than the lyrics. which gives it a great quality, it saddens me and gives me hope at the same time. Really good album.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

The songs are so friendly and approachable, then the lyrics bite at you. Really classic sounding, doesn't necessarily sound like an "80's album" which I tend to appreciate.

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Sat Jan 16 2021
4

Good

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