On initial blush Vauxhall and I's lead-off single, which turned into Morrissey's highest charting American single, seemed a bit clumsy, with slightly repetitious lyrics and a bit of lazy feeling to it. In the end, however, it's another Morrissey classic, with good production from Steve Lillywhite and a low-key but confident performance from the band. Morrissey's own singing, meanwhile, is some of his clearest and best yet. More immediately affecting was another Vauxhall album track, "Used to Be a Sweet Boy," an at once beautifully nostalgic and deeply emotional piece about youth and changing expectations. The haunting backing vocals, piano, and quick acoustic guitar flourishes add to the elegant melancholia. The one cut that didn't turn up on Vauxhall, "I'd Like To," benefits from a quiet, sparkling synth string piece and other production touches adding to the mysterious, spacious band performance. Possibly this has to do with the fact that the rhythm section of Jonny Bridgewood and Woodie Taylor is standing in for the usual Day/Cobrin pairing, but whatever the reason, the end results are worth it, while Morrissey's performance is just fine.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett