Morrissey – “Jacky’s Only Happy When She’s Up on the Stage” (Singles Going Steady)

Somehow, things seem darker now. Heaven knows we are more miserable now. Thank you, Morrissey, for sharing.

Steve Horowitz: “This country is making me sick,” Moz sings. It’s good to know we in the United States are not alone. The references to Brexit are clear but the lessons for the West as a whole hold just as true. All the world is a stage, perhaps, but who is the audience? Politicians promise that we are all in it together as they just want to grab our attention and whatever other goodies they can steal. Perhaps it has always been this way, as the orchestral music in the background reminds us of past glories. But somehow, things seem darker now. Heaven knows we are more miserable now. Thank you, Morrissey, for sharing. [8/10]

Tristan Kneschke: Everyone knows what they’re getting with a Morrissey song. The guy practically defined emo with his angsty, sensitive lyrics, and has been no stranger to political commentaries. In 2017, both aspects to the crooner’s music haven’t changed, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While it’s easy to read “Jacky” as just another tale about an ego-obsessed starlet craving attention, far more interesting is Jacky’s stand-in for the United Kingdom’s Union Jack. During the song’s chaotic, noisy climax, everybody heads for the exit, perhaps a nod to the disastrous Brexit decision. Morrissey spells it out for us with “this country is making me sick”, but subtlety was never his strong suit. [5/10]

Chris Ingalls: It seems odd to think that Moz is still churning out albums nearly 30 years after his solo debut, and while he’s had his share of creative ups (Viva Hate, You Are the Quarry) and downs (did anyone actually buy World Peace is None of Your Business?), he still plays to his strengths quite nicely. The cinematic layers of this single create a wonderful atmosphere, and Morrissey’s voice still sounds pretty damn good. When you strip away all the controversial quotes and endless tour cancellations, what you’re left with is a vital singer/songwriter whose occasional dips into self-parody can be forgiven. [7/10]

Jonathan Frahm: The song itself is Moz in his prime, channeling an alt. rock vibe reminiscent of his days with the Smiths before evolving into something more upfront and brash. What fans will be focusing on, though, are the last sixty seconds or so when, amidst a sea of rampant distortion, he utters “exit, exit.” They’re already drawing up their theories on this pro-Brexiter’s insistence on involving allusions to the act in this tune, though one thing that’s for sure is that the tunes he’s pushing out from off of this new album so far are his best in a while. World peace may be none of our business, but that record felt like it wasn’t any of his either. It’s good seeing the artist back near the top of his game. [8/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Whether or not it’s an analogy for Brexit (for which the always outspoken Morrissey has notoriously voiced his support in the past), it’s definitely a Morrissey song: well-sung, overwrought, and generally filled with discontent. We know you’re a little unhappy, Moz, but next time, try to set it to a more interesting melody. [3/10]

William Nesbitt: YouTube demanded I verify my age to watch the video. I did not comply. This tells me there may be something spicy going on in the video (strippers perhaps?). In any event, what I could find suggests I located a live recording. If so, Morrissey is sounding pretty good on stage at this point in his career. If this is the studio version, then the producer should have given him a little more help here and there hoisting up the high notes. The repeated line “everybody’s running for the exit” along with Morrissey’s past politically-themed songs makes me suspect this is about Brexit and/or the potential collapse of the European Union. It’s catchy and not quite as dour as many Morrissey tunes. Only Morrissey can create something so upbeat sounding about the world falling apart. [8/10]

RATING: 6.50