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Morrissey - California Son (2019) Published: May 24/19 Released: May 24/19 albumAlternative12 Tracks • 39 Minutes
TRACKWAVE SCORE
The percentage of professional music reviewers who liked this. Above 75% is gold. ?
50%
    SELECTED LINE: What 'California Son' is saying is that it's not very good. -New Musical Express (NME)
    California Son is the 12th studio album by Morrissey, released by BMG on May 24, 2019.
    Preview
    1. Morning Starship3:29
    2. Don't Interrupt the Sorrow4:06
    3. Only a Pawn in Their Game3:46
    4. Suffer the Little Children3:31
    5. Days of Decision2:55
    6. It's Over2:52
    7. Wedding Bell Blues2:56
    8. Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets2:09
    9. Lady Willpower3:07
    10. When You Close Your Eyes3:29
    11. Lenny's Tune3:30
    12. Some Say I Got Devil4:09
℗ 2019 BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited
Critic Reviews (28)

California Son is uneven at its best, and borderline sacrilegious at its lowest points.

40% 1 month ago

Under The Radar Under The Radar

It may not be quite ‘over’ but at this rate, it may well be soon.

1 month ago

No More Workhorse No More Workhorse

Given his political posturing of late, I confess its somewhat maddening to report, California Son is one of his strongest releases in ages.

80% 1 month ago

Soundblab Soundblab

He's sounding a bit like a curmudgeon, but he embraces his eccentricities, which means this contrarianism wears well on record, even if it doesn't in real life.

70% 1 month ago

AllMusic AllMusic

It is more enjoyable to hear Morrissey in thrall to his passions than his peeves, but the toxicity of his public persona still poisons the well.

59% 1 month ago


Morrissey’s unmistakeable voice makes every song his own.

60% 1 month ago

Evening Standard Evening Standard

"California Son" has become a solid, mostly unspectacular album, barely comparable to the two musically interesting predecessors.

40% 1 month ago

lautde lautde

I could have forgiven this album its missteps if I could dissociate the music from the man. It’s really not bad. But I can’t.

40% 1 month ago

The Independent (UK) The Independent (UK) (TOP)

Improving some and turning others into head scratchers.

70% 1 month ago


Nothing stands out or makes you particularly grateful for this collection.

50% 1 month ago

Belfast Telegraph Belfast Telegraph

You could not expect more.

70% 1 month ago

Classic Rock (DE) Classic Rock (DE)

Some diverting covers and some utterly unlistenable notes.

40% 1 month ago

Financial Times Financial Times (TOP)

Clumsy covers with a troll-like spirit.

20% 1 month ago


California Son is more evidence that the singer’s talent shows no sign of waning.

1 month ago

RIFF Magazine RIFF Magazine

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.

1 month ago


Morrissey’s album of cover versions appears to be an attempt at rehabilitation via the medium of unchallenging blandness.

40% 1 month ago

The Times of London The Times of London (TOP)

The selection of pieces is exquisite, Morrissey is a connoisseur, a fan - and he wants to prove it to us.

75% 1 month ago

Musikexpress Musikexpress

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.

75% 1 month ago


Musical vamping is welcome from this dour enigma.

60% 1 month ago

theartsdesk.com theartsdesk.com

It seems to have done Morrissey a rare power of good to deal, for a change, with things he actually likes.

60% 2 months ago

Metro Newspaper UK Metro Newspaper UK

California Son may not entirely succeed in repositioning Morrissey as a righteous protest singer, boldly crooning truth to power, but in fleeting moments like this [like on "Some Say I Got Devil"], it confirms him as a peerless modern practitioner of deep song, the pop artist who can divine, even in the work of the singer of "Brand New Key," lorca's dark, abysmal spirit of duende. [Jun 2019, p.28]

70% 2 months ago

Uncut Uncut

Versions of Joni Mitchell's Don't Interrupt The Sorrow and Bob Dylan's Only A Pawn In Their Game are surprisingly persuasive. Elsewhere, it's like being imprisoned in the teenage Moz bedroom/brain. [Jun 2019, p.89]

60% 2 months ago

Mojo Mojo

A notoriously obsessive music fan paying homage to childhood favourites whilst repurposing lyrics.

80% 2 months ago

The Telegraph (UK) The Telegraph (UK) (TOP)

Overall, it’s an album for fans only – and for Morrissey himself, probably.

60% 2 months ago

The Irish Times The Irish Times (TOP)

Morrissey offers 12 covers, with very mixed results.

2 months ago

The Associated Press The Associated Press (TOP)

Do not listen to this album.

10% 2 months ago

Exclaim Exclaim

Not bad, but I'd rather have heard one of his own songs.

70% 2 months ago

humo (BE) humo (BE)

What 'California Son' is saying is that it's not very good.

40% 2 months ago

New Musical Express (NME) New Musical Express (NME) (TOP)
User Reviews (5)

57Clash4 months ago
Big Mo does The Big O Morrissey is the perfect singer to do a Roy Orbison cover. This is a great version. I wish he did more of Roy's songs. Looking forward to the whole album

Tayniss1083 months ago
My hero I didn’t like Morrissey's last two albums, but this album is so beautiful. His voice only gets better with age. Amazing work!

defeated4 months ago
RIGHT on Great version of It’s Over. Can’t wait until the rest.

Hillcrest SD4 months ago
Morrissey is a Baby Boomer Covering artists likeJoni Mitchell, BobDylan, Phil Ochs, Roy Orbison, Laura Nyro ,Tim Hardin and Melanie Safka shows that Morrissey does know where it’s at despite all the debate regarding everything he does. Can’t wait to hear Morrissey and his versions on the upcoming album.

Alix Kruz4 months ago
YASS!! Loving the new track! ❤️
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