If you bought this album because of the bouncy, uptempo singles “This Charming Man” and “What Difference Does It Make,” then like me you might have been initially disappointed. At first I was put off by the preponderance of slower songs and lead singer Morrissey’s lyrics. But when I discovered that even a lyric as obnoxious as “I decree today that life is simply for the taking and not giving” is rendered singable by Johnny Marr’s wonderful pop guitar, suddenly this album clicked. I’ve been listening to it with a growing fascination ever since. And when I realized that even the slowest songs have depth and power, I can only conclude that this is the best debut album so far of 1984.
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As Published in the Dead Air Diary April 1984