Bigmouth strikes again! The media world is up in arms, ready to pounce at the Master of Miserablism and Prince of Pain. Morrissey has always been a cultural and political activist to begin with, so
"And then there is the raging bull that is “Bobby, Don’t You Think They Know?”—a Gospel/Blues-inspired track; the album’s first single, featuring vocals by the American R&B singer Thelma Houston; followed by the equally unrelenting title-track, swaying and swinging coolly, obviously teasing and taunting whoever Morrissey has written the song for: “There is no point in being nice!”
Morrissey with his gang—Boz Boorer (guitar), Jesse Tobias (guitar), Matt Walker (drums), Gustavo Manzur (keyboards), and Mando Lopez (bass)—then treats the listener to something musically relaxed and atmospheric—“What Kind of People Live in These Houses?” and “Knockabout World”—but still lyrically brazen. The ensuing horn-laden “Darling, I Hug a Pillow” is sweet and tender, reminiscent of Morrissey’s early works, such as “The Last of the Famous International Playboys” and “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful.” With “Once I Saw the River Clean,” Morrissey then takes the listener to synthpop realms—textured, washed, subtly foreboding, but hopeful.
With Manzur’s piano prowess and Walker’s percussive creativity in “The Truth about Ruth,” Morrissey is then able to showcase once again his flair for Vaudeville balladry. The theatrical antics then continues with “The Secret of Music."