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Morrissey back with album, politics – Corgan sets stripped-back solo album

NEW YORK, Aug 23, (Agencies): Rock icon Morrissey will release his first album in three years, his new label distributor announced Tuesday, promising that the work will offer fresh political insights from the outspoken singer.

“Low in High-School,” the 11th solo studio album from the British artist whose morose, sardonic lyricism has won him an impassioned fan base, will come out on Nov 17.

“Morrissey’s talent for combining political statements and melodies is more prevalent than ever on ‘Low in High-School,’ capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world,” music group BMG said in a statement.

Morrissey will launch the album with a Nov 10 concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles — where he enjoys an especially avid audience dominated by Mexican Americans — followed by a wider tour whose details will be announced later, BMG said.

The 58-year-old singer helped create the concept of alternative rock as the frontman of The Smiths in the 1980s, taking a role akin to a literary figure with his poetic takes on life’s injustices and disappointments on albums such as “The Queen Is Dead” and “Meat is Murder.” Never shy about his views, Morrissey is a staunch critic of the British monarchy and longtime champion of animal rights, with the singer refusing to play at concert venues while meat is served.

He has had a fraught relationship with the music industry. His last album, “World Peace Is None of Your Business,” disappeared from distribution shortly after its release in 2014 as Morrissey pointed to disputes with label Harvest, part of giant music conglomerate Universal.

For “Low in High-School,” Morrissey launched his own label called Etienne — the French form of Steven, his given first name.

Etienne Records will be distributed by BMG — a unit of German media giant Bertelsmann. Formerly a major label, BMG relaunched in 2008 with a focus on music publishing and distribution.

Korda Marshall, BMG’s executive vice-president for new recordings, said it was “a dream” to sign Morrissey.

“There are not many artists around today that can compare to Morrissey. He is an extraordinary talent. He is prodigious, literate, witty, elegant and above all, courageous,” he said in the statement.

The album news comes just as a biopic about Morrissey, “England Is Mine,” arrives in cinemas. Based on Morrissey’s autobiography, it follows his boyhood in Manchester until he formed The Smiths with guitarist Johnny Marr.

Billy Corgan, the force behind hard-charging alternative rock giants The Smashing Pumpkins, on Tuesday announced a stripped-back solo album driven by piano and acoustic guitar.

The rocker — now going by his full name William Patrick Corgan — said that “Ogilala,” his second solo album, would come out on Oct 13 and be accompanied by a solo acoustic tour of North America.

He released a first single, “Aeronaut,” a ballad with his distinctively intense, nasal voice backed by piano and strings.


Corgan said he wrote the 11-track album just for voice and guitar and let the songs develop with sparse arrangements when he went into the studio with Rick Rubin, one of the music business’s best-known producers.

Corgan — who, while officially just one of The Smashing Pumpkins, is the group’s primary creative voice and sole consistent member — said the line had always been blurred between songs he wrote for himself and those penned under the names of bands.

“And it remains so, for they all feel quite personal to me, no matter their time or era,” he said about his songwriting in a statement.

“The lone difference on songs for ‘Ogilala’ is that they seemed to want little in the way of adornment,” he said.

The 50-year-old Chicago rocker was at the forefront of the alternative rock boom in the early 1990s, with the Pumpkins initially known for raging guitar and darkly introspective lyricism.

But Corgan soon diversified to bring in symphonic and electronic influences, creating a dreamy sound that won both critical acclaim and mainstream success.

Corgan’s first solo album, 2005’s “TheFutureEmbrace,” went more deeply into electronic music. He last released an album as the Pumpkins in 2014, “Monuments to an Elegy,” which swayed from guitar rock to dance beats.

The origin of the title “Ogilala” was not immediately clear, although it is similar to the name of a town in Nebraska. The listed tracks include “Antietam” and “Shiloh,” both names of battles in the US Civil War.


LOS ANGELES: The wait is almost over: Taylor Swift is expected to release new music on Friday, according to multiple sources. The superstar is set to debut the first single from her upcoming sixth album, although she could surprise everyone and drop the entire album itself.

Swift is also rumored to be debuting the music video for said single at this Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, hosted by her former friend Katy Perry.

After wiping clean her Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr accounts, in addition to her website, Swift sent fans into a frenzy by posting two cryptic videos of a snake moving its tail Monday on her social media platforms.

Given that the wait for new music since “1989” has been longer than usual, speculation that Swift would be dropping news soon ran rampant.

Further adding fuel to the fire: The day of the purge — Friday, Aug 18 — was the three-year anniversary of the announcement of her album “1989” and the launch of its first single, “Shake It Off.”

Swift released “1989” in October 2014, which marked an official move into pop music for the singer. The album was a massive success, going six-times platinum per the Recording Industry Association of America, and along with “Shake It Off,” contained six other singles: “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” “Style,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Out of the Woods,” and “New Romantics.”

Starting with her 2006 self-titled debut and leading up to “1989,” Swift had released an album every two years. She’s kept a relatively low profile in the past few months especially, posting on social media only sporadically and making few public appearances. She most recently emerged victorious in a Denver trial after a DJ, who was accused of groping her during a meet-and-greet, unsuccessfully sued her for the loss of his job.


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