Though it's too tempting to read a career into every Morrissey lyric, maybe there was something to "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get," his only charting hit in James Dean's U.S.A. (and a would-be Jamaican rock-steady classic in disguise, albeit arriving as alt pop in 1994). Last year's The Sound of the Smiths revealed the deal-breaker voice of the great '80s band as perhaps the music's truest author—not just funny, ghostly, and unambiguously gay (whatever he said in interviews), but tuned to the mantras and rhythms of real-time emotion in a way that's rare outside of the rap he dismissed. Sound makes me miss the depressive sequencing of Hatful of Hollow and the lesser tracks from The Queen Is Dead: What really needs compiling is the solo Morrissey. Until then, we have Years of Refusal, his 10th album and a belated answer to grunge, synth-glam backing for a singer whose skills have caught up with his gall. "There's a naked man standing, laughing in your dream," he taunts on "All You Need Is Me." "You know who it is, but you don't like what it means." With the Courteneers. All ages.
Mon., April 6, 7:30 p.m., 2009