00:00 The The - Electric Moonlight 02:20 Walter Schnaffs - I Am Germany 05:13 Sonic Youth - (She's In A) Bad Mood 10:28 Black Dice - Pigs 13:50 Amon Tobin - Lost & Found 16:30 DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime (Reprise) 18:28 completion
I surprised myself with how highly I rated Southpaw Grammar. I've always liked the album, but listening to it with a critical ear with the idea of attaching a number to it gave me a new appreciation for it. It excels as a complete piece, the only Morrissey album for which I'm tempted to break out the cliche "greater than the sum of its parts." All Moz albums have great moments, but a lot of them are terribly uneven. Southpaw Grammar also stands out in striking me as his least personal work. He barely uses the first person lyrically, and the subjects of the songs sound to me like fictional creations, fitting for a literary dude like Moz. I wish he'd do more "story" songs and fewer about his own pathos. Another unique element of Southpaw Grammar is the musicians being allowed to breath and flex their chops. Mozzaball has usually had enjoyable backing bands and composers, but the music is also generally secondary to Morrissey's personality, lyrics and vocals. Not so on Southpaw Grammar, on which music and voice work together as equal partners (sort of like they did in The Smiths). Taken in the context of his solo career, it's a very weird album. It's also a surprisingly great one.