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California Son Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Summary: The covers album from the former Smiths frontman was produced by Joe Chiccarelli with guest appearances from Billie Joe Armstrong, Ed Droste, Ariel Engle, Sameer Gadhia, Petra Haden, and Lydia Night.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. May 30, 2019
    80
    If a great cover version should reveal new dimensions in both song and singer, then this album is filled with them.
  2. May 23, 2019
    75
    Without the baggage of his political views--which is where the letter grade on this review comes from--California Son would be a worthy addition to a mostly stellar catalog, offering insight into a great singer and lyricist’s taste and breathing new life into mostly forgotten songs.
  3. May 24, 2019
    73
    Committing to kitschy ’60s bliss as much as that era’s real or imagined war zones allows Morrissey and California Son a chance to find a (literal) voice in a way he hasn’t in ages. It would just be an even greater feat if Morrissey could make more of its finer musical moments jibe with his personal vibes.
  4. May 28, 2019
    59
    When they play it safer, like on their workmanlike strum through Joni Mitchell’s “Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow” or the easy-listening wistfulness of their take on Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over,” the results are less remarkable. And while it’s a relief to be spared Morrissey’s bitterness, sometimes California Son feels too frothy, and he sounds like he doesn’t have any skin in the game at all.
  5. Classic Rock Magazine
    May 30, 2019
    50
    A competently executed, if indulgent. [Jul 2019, p.85]
  6. Q Magazine
    Jun 14, 2019
    40
    There's nothing transformative enough to make this more than a placeholder and plenty that is kitsch. [Summer 2019, p.112]
  7. May 21, 2019
    10
    For the most part, Morrissey sounds like a cheap facsimile of himself; an aged crooner without any latter-day grace. Moreover, the features list on this album, including Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, occasionally comes into play with no impact. Coupled with Morrissey's complete lack of finesse in his vocals are the instrumentals, which are, for the most part, the dictionary definition of clinical.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 27, 2019
    10
    excellent!! N e lo pierdan. merece la pena la revisión de estos clásicos por Morrissey
  2. Jun 10, 2019
    10
    YASSS! come true the house down baby, it' a cover album but honey it's amazing
  3. May 28, 2019
    9
    Es un gran álbum que logra generar una nostalgia de los años 60-70 aún en aquellas personas que ni siquiera nacíamos entonces.

    Lo bueno:
    Es un gran álbum que logra generar una nostalgia de los años 60-70 aún en aquellas personas que ni siquiera nacíamos entonces.

    Lo bueno: musicalmente se nota una madurez tanto en la producción, arreglos y en la voz de Moz. Las canciones tienen mucha más textura e invitan a imaginar y sentir. Es un LP que se debe escuchar como los de antes: de corrido.

    Lo malo: En esta ocasión no podremos contar con las fantásticas, inteligentes ni incisivas letras de Moz, pero, en su lugar, contamos con tributo tras tributo a reconocidos (y otros, no tanto) cantautores. Morrissey deja ver trazas de sí mismo en estas melodías y las honra al mantenerlas vivas y actualizarlas, respetando su esencia.

    Lo peor: es toda la oleada de odio hacia Morrissey, y en consecuencia, este album, a causa de un pin. Una vez más, el trabajo de un genio musical será manchado por agendas políticas que poco o nada saben de arte.
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  4. May 26, 2019
    9
    What an enjoyable insight in to Morrissey’s mind. The song selection is perfect, just the right mix of well known songs verses somewhatWhat an enjoyable insight in to Morrissey’s mind. The song selection is perfect, just the right mix of well known songs verses somewhat obscure. Wedding Bell Blues gets a pretty straightforward rendering that Morrissey keeps light. Loneliness Remembers keeps Dionne Warwick’s version alive within Morrissey’s vocal delivery. The production is at times heavy but it helps the album maintain a 60’s theme through a spin of the entire album. Really it’s what I’ve been hoping for from Morrissey for the last ten years. Nice job Moz. Expand
  5. Feb 4, 2020
    8
    Great album, light and such good sounded, enjoy instrumentals and voice. I recommend to listen it on sunny day when you can just seat andGreat album, light and such good sounded, enjoy instrumentals and voice. I recommend to listen it on sunny day when you can just seat and chill with good music, headphones and couple drinks. Cheers every one! Expand
  6. May 26, 2019
    6
    É um trabalho 'ok'. Instrumentalmente falando é bem bonito, em certos momentos os arranjos são simples e objetivos, em outros momentos sãoÉ um trabalho 'ok'. Instrumentalmente falando é bem bonito, em certos momentos os arranjos são simples e objetivos, em outros momentos são imponentes e dão um ótimo peso às faixas que precisam (Some Say I Got Devil ilustra bem). Mas ainda assim fiquei incomodado com um certo jeito "karaokê" de bar que este álbum traz, pessoalmente não me agradou. Os arranjos levam este álbum "nas costas" por grande parte do tempo. "ok" é uma definição adequada. Expand