Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bill Morrissey

  • Bill Morrissey [Reckless, 1984] B+
  • North [Philo, 1986] B+
  • Inside [Philo, 1992] Choice Cuts

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bill Morrissey [Reckless, 1984]
There's ten years of rough jobs and bumming around in these trenchant, unassuming songs, with no aura of folkie slumming to stink things up. Morrissey took those jobs to make money, not to gather material, and he went on the road to get away from home. Of course, industrial New England leaves its stamp on everything he writes anyway--his lyrics are so local, so devoid of pop universals, that even if he wanted more than finger-picking on his LP I doubt anyone would give him the budget for it. Which sad to say leaves only a stylized is-that-John-Prine? drawl to carry his familiar little tunes. B+

North [Philo, 1986]
His deep voice sheds affectation as his music approaches the delicacy of pure folkie accompaniment, all the better to show off what he's here for: "idiot verse." Which is laconic, not idiotic, and damn near definitive on his great theme--how much men need to work and how much they'd rather be doing something else. Never before have so many protagonists been snowbound and liked it. B+

Inside [Philo, 1992]
"Inside" Choice Cuts