He may look wonderfully buff on the album cover, but The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis says Morrissey‘s new release, Years of Refusal, is “a disappointment.” Not only are the lyrics “horribly sour” and full of “vituperative clumsiness,” the sound is apparently awful: “Morrissey’s backing band, hardly renowned for their lightness of touch at the best of times, seem more stodgy and leaden than ever: the bass is distorted, the drums thud grimly along at mid-tempo, and Ringleader of the Tormentors‘ beautiful orchestrations have been elbowed out. As with a lot of Morrissey’s latter-day solo material, its target market appears to be people who heard the Smiths and thought: if only this stuff was less beautifully nuanced and original, a bit more ungainly and predictable, then we’d really be getting somewhere.”
There will be no Smiths reunion. Repeat. There will be no Smiths reunion. Everybody now! There will be no Smiths reunion.(BBC)
Apparently, a Libertines reunion is out of the question as well.(NME)
However, Howard Devoto (formerly of Buzzcocks and Luxuria) and his influential New Wave band Magazine are reuniting.(Telegraph)
What’s Leona Lewis‘ connection to the Rihanna/Chris Brown madness?(Telegraph)
Sadie Frost‘s “Madonna” play gets two stars from The Times‘ Dominic Maxwell.
Prince Harry will be sent to a “diversity” class after his latest debacle.(Guardian)
Anna Friel believes the pressure to be thin is greater in Britain than in the States: “I actually find the pressure when I am back home here far greater than in LA. There are so many thin women here, much thinner than in America.” I’m sure the quality of British food has *nothing* to do with it.(The Sun)
Clive Owen doesn’t fancy himself a “sex symbol” off set: “Any actor who starts taking the tag ‘sex symbol’ seriously or thinks of themselves as a sex symbol has got some serious problems. When I’m in my normal life I care very little about how I look. Sometimes I have to dress up when I’m making movies, but that’s not me when I’m just hanging around…I don’t mind looking like I need a good wash and a good meal.” Is that an invitation for me to bathe and feed him? If so, sign me up. (iCelebz)
Matt Smith, a.k.a. the new Doctor, is not a very enticing woman.(The Sun)
Daniel Radcliffe has visited the bedside of his stunt double who was seriously injured on the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.(The Sun)
Why has John Hurt reprised his role as Quentin Crisp after nearly 35 years in An Englishman in New York? “When I read the script I thought it was an extraordinarily sensitive treatment of the last 20 years of his life,” said Hurt in The Guardian. “In a sense, I thought it would be wrong not to do it.”
Welcome to the world of celebrity, guys: Dev Patel and his Slumdog love interest Freida Pinto get photographed stumbling out of a nightclub at 3:30 am.(Daily Mail)
Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.