Review #113: The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 20, 2021

#113: The Queen Is Dead, The Smiths

Listen, I try to give all these albums the benefit of the doubt, even the ones I don’t really like at all. The reason is that some people LOVE those bands, hence their inclusion on this list. My philosophy is that if somebody loves it, there’s something there to love.

People love the Smiths. Specifically, people LOVE Morrissey, the Smith’s brooding golden-voiced lead singer.

Here’s the thing: Morrissey cannot sing or write very good poetry. There, I said it. I’ll say it again. I hate the Smiths. They’re whiny. Morrissey is an idiot and says dumb stuff all the time.

But people love the Smiths so so much. This Independent article details a Smiths fan who “held a radio station up at gunpoint, demanding that they play only Smiths songs.” Morrissey’s Wikipedia page has a section called “Fandom.”

I don’t get it. I never will.

Fine, let’s get this over with.


“The Queen Is Dead” — The beginning of this song is haunted. I love when his voice cracks on the line “Never even knew what drugs were.” Liar!

“I Know It’s Over” — I think that when the Smiths lean into their own emo-ness, I like them much better. And his voice gets so high at the end!

“Bigmouth Strikes Again” — Is this song about Morrissey? The RS blurb says that this was guitarist Johnny Marr’s attempt to write his own “Jumping Jack Flash.” I don’t know if he succeeds, but the sweet guitar solo in the middle is the best part.

“The Boy with the Thorn in His Side” — Sometimes Morrissey’s caterwauling works for me.

“Vicar in a Tutu” — Okay I actually loved this one, despite my best efforts not to.

“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” — I know this is a great song, so I’ll include it up here, but I hate it. I’ve heard it so many times, and I don’t want to take Morrissey anywhere, I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.


“Frankly, Mr. Shankly” — Who let Morrissey get famous?

“Cemetry Gates” — Not a misspelling. Any song that mentions Keats and Yeats in the first 15 seconds is too pretentious for me.


Yes. The Smiths had no business being famous in the first place. If we need a token whiny album, then we should include Simple Plan’s Still Not Getting Any instead, which includes the ever-poignant “Welcome To My Life.”

Review #112: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John

Review #114: Is This It, The Strokes