Review Revue: The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

Pulling this album from my digital pile of photos brought up an interesting (to me, anyway) bit of synchronicity. The last time I posted about the Smiths, I wasn't yet a father - being an adoptive dad, I didn't even know that I would have a son in a matter of weeks.  Now I have a boy who will turn two on the same day The Smiths' final album has its 30th birthday - just one week after my 10th anniversary of writing these blog posts. (I promise not to wish him an unhappy birthday.) What does that all add up to? Not much, really, but it's a damn good excuse to listen to this gorgeous collection of songs for the first time in too long and think about how lucky I am to be listening and writing and parenting.

Trying to bring it back to the topic at hand, if anyone can help explain what "crunch factor" might have meant to the KCMU DJs of 1987, I'd really appreciate it.

"'Strangeways' is a mental hospital in England. It's a prison, and Tim's going there after he drops by Buckingham Palace and Hammersmith Odeon and all the other places whose names he likes to drop."

"If you love the Smiths, you'll love this album. If you hate 'em, well, you'll probably hate this a bunch. They're at their most jubilant at 1.2, their most poppy - yet - depressing at 1.4. This is really good - no Hatful of Hollow, but really really good. Play up."

"crunch factor - 9.3"

"I'd up the crunch factor to 10.0. This is the crunchiest."

"It's not the crunch, it's the wounds [not sure about this word - wands? wombs?]. Who cares how high they turn up stuff."

"I wonder what the Smiths would sound like if Morrissey had a girlfriend." [Ummm, wow.]

"This is a very good album. Marr will be sorely missed."

"Uh. Yeah. So will the whole band - Smiths RIP 10.87 - but Marr & Morrissey both have solo projects."

"Crunch factor has nothing to do with how loud you can turn it up. It's how high you can mousse your hair with it."

"Their best in a long time."

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