Earth is the Loneliest Planet is Morrissey’s simplest lyric in some time, maybe since Best Friend on the Payroll or Do Your Best and Don’t Worry from Southpaw Grammar. I am probably missing something but those two jump out. (I actually like both those songs and especially love Best Friend on the Payroll. I’ve always found Southpaw to be his most underrated album. Boz Boorer and Alain Whyte kill it on guitars on that record. The whole band is great.) The lyrics are basically the title of the song with a couple key phrases to add some light and shade to it. And for those of you that think he is not living up to his Smith’s heritage all I have to say is Some Girls Are Bigger than Others or Never Had No One Ever. Morrissey has been writing lyrics this way since he started. And if the lyrics are simple in terms of the amount of lines that he has written, trust me, as you play the song numerous times different nuances make themselves known.
The melody is textbook Morrissey; it’s a unique melody that sticks in your craw once you have heard it several times. What makes this track so outstanding, where it really raises the bar, is the music. Flamenco guitar, French café sounding accordion, ghostly female backing vocals, and a take the paint off the barn guitar solo are all there together among other things!
What is really interesting to me now that we have heard three songs from the album is how adventurous and outward looking the production and music is. Along with the three sets of lyrics, that all seem to look out at the world, the music really has a worldly quality to it without being what you would call world music. The writing is still very much in the World of Morrissey, but each song has different flourishes that make you think of different cultures. When Morrissey does what my brother and I call the “victory lap” in his Autobiography, when he talks about all of the success his music has met in all corners of the globe in the last part of his book, it makes me think that he has folded all of these places back into his music. The fact that has been able to do this while still retaining a very unique musical and lyrical identity is really exciting. Please let the next month go quickly, I want this record!