OBSERVER editor Rob George takes a look at the latest music releases, including a re-release of a Morrissey classic.
PARLAPHONE Records have released the definitive master of Mancunian music maestro Morrissey’s iconic third album Your Arsenal.
Originally released in 1992, Your Arsenal was the album which sent Morrissey’s career in the US to the very top and cemented his status at an outstanding solo artist.
Four chart singles including Glamorous Glue, released 20 years after the album first hit the airwaves, are on the album.
Your Arsenal is very much a two-sided album with five songs per side and was recorded after six months on tour.
The album both caresses and confronts the listener with side one offering a live urgency with songs that explore 70s hooliganism in We’ll Let You Know, the life of the far right in the ‘National Front Disco’.
Morrissey’s sharp intellect and wit are clear on all the tracks especially those on side two which are more comforting and reflective.
Across the Pennines, Sheffield’s finest Reverend and the Makers are celebrating the release of their new albumn ThirtyTwo.
Produced themselves with the help of Youth (Primal Scream and the Verve) and James Welsh, the opening of ThirtyTwo makes the link between the last album and this.
The lovers rock-influenced ‘Devil’s Radio’ signals the sense of assurance and considerable stylistic breadth to follow.
An undoubted highlight is the breakbeat-Lennon of ‘Your Girl’ and the album’s title track ‘McClure’s Age’ which alludes to a newfound sense of peace and collectedness.
This is at the heart of ThirtyTwo, a sense of mature acceptance from Reverend and the Makers who have not lost any of their sardonic, amped up and memorable elements.
Following Marc Almond’s much lauded guest appearance on John Harle’s ‘Art Music’, the two Ivor Novello 2013 award winners have collaborated on The Tyburn Tree.
London and it’s darkest stories are the theme for the album which boasts an epic song cycle which shines a lantern into the corners of the capital’s terrifying history.
While the lyrics stalk the darkest passageways, the music is unashamedly contemporary as Almond’s own lyrics with Harle’s pulsating score offer a powerful musical experience.
Along for the ride are noted soprano Sarah Leonard and great London poet and author Iain Sinclair who reads from his own texts.
But it’s the voice of Almond that is a spiritual medium from which appears the ghosts of London town.
A year after they said goodbye, the greatest hits of My Chemical Romance have been released on Reprise Records.
The collection spans the decade plus career of this remarkable band whose goth-tinged theatrical punk-pop sound earned them legions of devoted fans.
‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ and ‘Teenagers’ are among the iconic hits featured on a must-have album for any MCR fan.
‘May Death Never Stop You’ also includes a previously unreleased song ‘Fake Your Death’, one of the last songs the band worked on together.
Three songs from the band’s infamous ‘Attic Demos’ are also packed on to the album as well as DVD with two hours of never before seen out-takes from MCR’s music videos.