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Meat Is Murder – The Smiths

The Smiths Meat is Murder

Meat Is Murder

(1985), 6/10
Meat Is Murder is easily The Smiths’ weakest studio album, but it’s hardly anything to be ashamed of, since they broke up before they even hinted of running out of ideas. If anything, Meat Is Murder is an uncomfortable and undisciplined transition between the stark approach of their initial recordings and the studio based approach of The Queen Is Dead and Strangeways, Here We Come. Most of the songs stretch out longer than they should, while the group are often over-reaching.

‘How Soon is Now?’ is recycled from the previous year’s Hatful of Hollow to act as the centrepiece here, an admission that the album otherwise lacks a single. The other bona-fide Smiths’ classics here are ‘The Headmaster Ritual’, topped off with Morrissey’s tremulous wordless chorus, and the melodically plaintive ‘I Want The One I Can’t Have’. Elsewhere, Meat Is Murder is a little uninteresting and forgettable – there’s slow languid material like ‘Well I Wonder’ and the long funk groove of ‘Barbarism Begins At Home’ overstays its welcome.

eat Is Murder is interesting, showing The Smiths unsure where to go next and exploring some surprising areas, but it’s not very convincing most of the time.

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