Monday, 6 May 2013

Something British, Something cool

I was barely a teen when their music reached my years … and not only the music, but that whole cool, detached attitude counterbalanced by the lyrics, that are quite to the point – very British, one might say! And Britain seen through the songs of The Smiths has something of its own, something of that humor – dark at times or nearly always - , something of that twist of straightforwardness as well.

Their music has a specific genuine flow coming from the raw simplicity, which is suggested by the very name picked to define the music band. What other more ordinary British name than Smith? Still, The Smiths, as simple as they might seem, brought poetry and artful guitar sound into the picture, turning rock music into something more similar to what we hear nowadays. In one word, they were the pioneers of the sound that dominates nowadays.

Still, there is a specific melodic attribute that is to be given not as much to the sound as to the lyrics. Morrissey – the band's front man – has never ceased to also be a writer. He definitely brought an undeniably unique and unmistakable element to the band not only due to his performance, but also to his talent in writing lyrics. 'There is a light that never goes out' with Morrissey charming the audiences… 

 The song 'There's a light that never goes out' is from the album The Queen is Dead. There is an undeniable legacy that Morrissey carried on from his previous punk experiences. But, at the same time, there is a legacy that the Manchester band carried forward, as they made music and sang for and from the everyday life experiences of the simple and unpretentious, of those called 'the common people', still dignified by frankness and honesty. And it is precisely this honesty trans-passing the music made by The Smiths that politicized their music when the case, singing for and in the name of all those affected by Thatcherism and harsh policies affecting precisely the simple people in Britain.

 The band did not have a long-living life as they dismantled in 1987, only five years after getting together as a group. There were also some disputes taken to court concerning the royalties. No harm done, though! The strong and leading former members went on with their careers. The most well known ones remain Johnny Marr (the guitarist of The Smiths) and Morrissey, who went on with an independent career that brought him much reward for his talent and hard work, as well as the public acclaim that he seemed to have always been looking forward to, as he both is and he's being regarded as one of the most influential artists of today.


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