Band: The Smiths
Album: Meat is Murder
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Considered a classic by more than just Rolling Stone (it is featured in "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die," for example) the record shows Morrissey's political and social views in a way the band's debut didn't.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I really should like the Smiths, but I don't. Morrissey's voice, for some reason, rubs me the totally wrong way.
Best song: "How Soon Is Now," while not a typical Smiths song, is certainly the most enduring from the record.
Worst song: "What She Said" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: I may not be the guy to judge this.
I want to like the Smiths. I really do. I realize that Morrissey is a British combination of Michael Stipe and Steve Albini, two people I admire. And, on some level, the Smiths are growing on me. I enjoyed the title track, "How Soon is Now" and "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore." While I don't love the song, I find the politics of "Barbarism Begins at Home" to be pretty agreeable.
But, for some reason, his voice just doesn't work for me. Too bad.
How fitting that this record comes up on the list the day after Christmas, when Morrissey said this about Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas:"
I'm not afraid to say that I think Band Aid was diabolical. Or to say that I think Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Many people find that very unsettling, but I'll say it as loud as anyone wants me to. In the first instance the record itself was absolutely tuneless. One can have great concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it's another thing to inflict daily torture on the people of England. It was an awful record considering the mass of talent involved. And it wasn't done shyly it was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.
How great is that?