Strangeways, Here We Come

1987, 8/10
Strangeways, Here We Come lacks the amazing highpoints of The Queen Is Dead, but still shows plenty of creativity, enough for it to rank as The Smiths’ second best studio album. It’s mostly mid-tempo pop-rock, but there’s plenty of variation within – a couple of the songs are even devoid of guitar, namely the opening ‘A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours’ and the grandiose orchestrated ballad ‘Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me’ while ‘Death At One’s Elbow’ ventures into rockabilly. ‘Girlfriend In A Coma’ is charming and pretty, and the catchy pop of ‘Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before’ is another highlight. The last couple of tracks are somewhat nondescript and Strangeways, Here We Come feels a little slight at just 35 minutes. Unfortunately Strangeways was to be The Smiths’ last album; Marr left the band directly after it was made, a rift that Morrissey claimed could have been healed if it wasn’t for the press coverage driving them further apart. The group bewilderingly soldiered on briefly as a three piece before calling it a day, leaving Morrissey to appear alone in the album’s videos.

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