Morrissey Ringleader of the Tormentors

Steven Patrick Morrissey’s reawakening in 2004 after a seven-year hibernation was a long desired comeback that thankfully prevented his solo career from being remembered for his pedestrian late ’90s recordings. You Are the Quarry reinstated him, but in hindsight, it only really got him back on his feet again. Those excited with that album should know Ringleader of the Tormentors is what fans have desired since 1994’s Vauxhall & I. Ringleader has a timeless ring to it, large in part to the handy work of producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T-Rex), who Moz has pursued vehemently throughout his career. The pair have revisited the glam guitars of Visconti’s past and amped them up to a Your Arsenal volume, dropped the explicitly modern feel and inconsistencies of Quarry, and even brought in Ennio Morricone to work some magic in two completely different ways. A move to Rome seems to have also lifted his spirits, as Morrissey’s never appeared so confident, sexually that is. "Dear God Please Help Me” is one of his most introspective and lovely works to date, with the singer confessing: "There are explosive kegs between my legs,” which for a notoriously private celibate sex symbol is a major breakthrough. Meanwhile "At Last I Am Born” plays out like a press conference to announce his renaissance. Sure, he still works up a good sulk on "I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero Now” or drops some politico bombs on the U.S. in "I Will See You In Far Off Places,” but, in all honesty, Morrissey and his music are more interesting than they have been in two decades. With Ringleader Morrissey has confirmed his relevance in contemporary music, and more importantly ensured that his solo career isn’t so far from the exquisite catalogue of his former band. (Image)