That unexpected new chapter in the saga of Mr. Never Loved No One Ever was enough to get me to listen to Ringleader of the Tormentors, despite having disliked every post-Smiths album Morrissey ever released, and having cooled on even some of the stuff I used to like when I was following the Smiths all around Europe just about the time Hatful of Hollow came out. (I helped translate "William, It Was Really Nothing" into Italian. Such are the things we waste time on when we're young and obsessed.)
I heard the news of this transformative development in the life of the world's unhappiest man on a music blog I read, and thought..... surely not. Surely when I actually listen to the song it will all turn out to be either some metaphoric excursion into poetic excess (from Morrissey? imagine that!) or some kind of sarcastic joke. But no. It was pretty much just what it seemed to be: The boy got some. And he was actually happy about it.
I wish I could tell you the album had such a happy outcome. Although the Moz fans are rhapsodizing all over iTunes, to my mind there isn't that much going on with it. I do like the single, "You Have Killed Me," and "Dear God, Please Help Me," the song about getting laid, is not bad; it's just that overall, Ringleader is nothing but the usual droney, boring story from our Stephen, only totally over-produced... I guess I should have suspected something like that, given he posed with a violin on the cover, but there is ORCHESTRATION on this thing.
And here we all thought love could fix anything. Guess we were wrong.