Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. A set of irresistible tracks both danceable and desolate. [28 May 2004, p.124]
  2. 91
    Might well be his most brilliant yet. [#10, p.86]
  3. As a singer, Morrissey has never sounded better than this.
  4. The most entertaining and lushly melodic work of Morrissey's solo career.
  5. But, and here's the catch, at times the arrangements just don't cut it.
  6. While 'You Are The Quarry' is a very good album it's not the earth shattering masterpiece many had hoped for, nay, expected.
  7. 80
    Those who have grown up with him will find much to love here. [May 2004, p.90]
  8. 80
    His best album since Vauxhall & I. [#27, p.140]
  9. It's not so much a return to form as it is a simple return, Morrissey picking up where he left off with Maladjusted, improving on that likeable album with a stronger set of songs and more muscular music.
  10. ‘You Are The Quarry’ sees Morrissey back in the ring, lean, limber and fighting fit.
  11. A fantastic record for Morrissey fans.
  12. Despite his gray hairs, Moz's approach to You Are the Quarry is youthful and energetic -- perhaps even punk.
  13. The Moz croon is more succulent than ever, and the music productively splits the difference between Your Arsenal's thrusting butchness and Vauxhall & I's voluptuous enervation.
  14. A little heavy on the lugubrious ballads, but it's all Morrissey all the time. [16 May 2004, p.E40]
  15. The music doesn't impress much, serving as more a backdrop for Morrissey's lovely chops.
  16. Despite the intervening years, Quarry sounds cut from exactly the same cloth as the last couple of Morrissey albums, which is to say that at best, it represents a bit of a holding pattern and at worst, it continues the slow artistic decline begun with 1995's lackluster Southpaw Grammar.
  17. If you wade through some horrid lyrics and mediocre songcraft, you will find You Are The Quarry stands solidly as a long overdue return to a formative sound. [#7]
  18. He submits a dozen songs to crystalline modern engineering and arrangements that place selective bits of mandolin, flute, harp and synthesizer in guitar-and-rhythm grooves, moving forward without losing his identity.
  19. 70
    Even a half good Morrissey album is streets ahead of the competition.
  20. At times, the misery borders on cliché, but luckily, "Quarry" sports some of Morrissey's most direct vignettes in years.
  21. Clicks in all the places his failures did not.
  22. Morrissey's songs rattle and hum with swagger and sour pride.
  23. And flaws there are, with many of the tracks sinking into a midtempo morass with decidedly underdeveloped melodies and daft instrumentation.
  24. For a handful of decent Morrissey songs – and, it must be said, some of his best ever vocal performances – we should be grateful. Ultimately though, for all these tantalising reminders of greatness, "You Are The Quarry" still feels like a man unnecessarily trapped by the limitations of his band and the extent of his loathing.
  25. 60
    Flares dazzlingly on initial contact, but dims a little. [Jun 2004, p.92]
  26. Only when Morrissey's wickedly funny side emerges does Quarry find moments worthy of sharing shelf space with his finest.
  27. Of course, anyone expecting a new Smiths album from this was always going to be disappointed. However, anyone expecting a good album from it is going to be disappointed as well.
  28. At this level of lyric artistry, these warmed-over arena rock backdrops are a waste.
  29. Those looking for the kind of soaring poetry that defined The Smiths will surely be depressed by lyrics that are often boringly solipsistic and prosaically worded. [Jun 2004, p.106]
  30. But just when he seems more relevant than ever, Morrissey has somehow contrived to make an album that sounds incredibly dated.
  31. Quarry doesn’t have great songs, just not-so-clever quips.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 74 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
  1. Sep 12, 2012
    10
    After a seven year gap between studio albums, one may be forgiven for thinking that Morrissey is no longer relevant in the music industry of today. Times have changed and we have seen the rise and fall of various musical trends such as the end of Britpop and the rise of art rock in the form of bands such as Franz Ferdinand. The question being: where does Moz fit in to all this? Quite frankly, he doesn't and this is partially the reason as to why this album is such a joy from start to finish. I would argue that no-one with such a large audience speaks so freely and truthfully.
    I am reviewing this 8 years after release having only discovered it in the past year (I know, a little slow on the uptake). However, with the benefit of hindsight, I can say that this album ranks up with Morrissey's finest e.g. Your Arsenal, Vauxhall And I. This is perhaps because the songs on the album have been tried and tested to live audiences for years now. Lyrically, the album very much resembles the cover shot of Moz standing alone, pin-striped, guns loaded. Here, he takes on everyone from America, Tories, the Labour Party and my personal favourite slamming of "lock-jawed pop stars, thicker than pig sh*t".
    At first the production may seem a little odd and I do think that it does become somewhat overbearing on some tracks that can really stand for themselves such as the albums opener "America Is Not The World" but this is only a minor gripe.
    The albums true highlights are the singles "Irish Blood, English Heart", "First Of The Gang To Die" and the beautiful melodies and vocal acrobatics of "Come Back To Camden" and "Let Me Kiss You". But I suspect that the true Morrissey fans will be happy to hear that the Morrissey of old with his smooth wit and dark imagery is back and present in such tracks as "This World Is Full Of Crashing Bores" which in particular has a wonderful social and cultural commentary as well as the emotional and personal song "How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel?". And this is where Morrissey succeeds the most, in the way that he can both shock ("I Have Forgiven Jesus"), provide an intelligent and familiar view on modern day popular culture as well as giving the audience a rich variety of emotions that he/she will be able to connect with. In conclusion, Morrissey has returned on form and has surpassed expectations. While the production by Jerry Finn leaves a bit to be desired, it doesn't detract from the brilliance of the vocal melodies nor the witty and insightful lyrics created by the man himself. This album rocks harder than Vauxhall And I but has a fairly similar sound without being as safe as that album was. All in all, one of the fine comeback albums of the 2000's and I cannot recommend this enough.
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