Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Smiths - Meat Is Murder (1985)

| Post-Punk | Alternative Rock | Indie Rock |

With their second proper album Meat Is Murder, the Smiths begin to branch out and diversify, while refining the jangling guitar pop of their debut (other albums here). Though this isn't a great leap forward on lyrical and musical ideas like on "The Queen Is Dead", it stands as one of their most popular and expressive albums.

Taking the epic, layered "How Soon Is Now?" as a starting point (the single, which is darker and more dance-oriented than the remainder of the album, was haphazardly inserted into the middle of the album for its American release), the group crafts more sweeping, mid-tempo numbers, whether it's the melancholy "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" or the angered protest as on "Meat Is Murder" or "Barbarism Begins At Home". While the production is more detailed than before, the Smiths are at their best when they stick to their strengths -- "The Headmaster Ritual" and "I Want the One I Can't Have" are fine elaborations of the formula they laid out on the debut, while "Rusholme Ruffians" is an infectious stab at rockabilly.

Album Overview on AllMusic

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