YOUR ARSENAL is my least favorite Morrissey CD….On that one, his fourth solo release counting BONA DRAG which was largely a collection of stand alone singles, he seemed eager to flaunt his new muscular sounding backing band….As a result, the songs had less lyrics, usually one or two phrases repeated again and again, as well as less interesting melodies.
I say this as a lifelong fan of both Morrissey and the Smiths….They were the first band I ever heard that actually said something that I could actually identify with namely how hard it is to fit in and find companionship.
And even on YOUR ARSENAL, I found buried at the end a gem entitled SEASICK YET STILL DOCKED….With its oxymoronic title and the glam bashers that preceded it one would have expected another big flashy musical spectacle….Instead, over a stand-up bass and a haunting, spare guitar riff, Morrissey chants a list of the usual agonies (how alone he is and how alone he always will be)….The lyrics are not among Morrissey’s best but his singing and the melody which accompanies it are memorable as is the heavy atmosphere the slow, unwinding pace and sound of the song create.
Morrissey’s next CD VAUXHALL AND I would be his very best filled with a number of his greatest solo songs but looking back to YOUR ARSENAL or for that matter any less than great release by a musical artist one admires, there is to be found at least one tune like SEASICK YET STILL DOCKED, a minor miracle in an otherwise mediocre collection.
Here’s the song….