For most artists, hocking a compilation of b-sides is often cause for concern. More often than not, these albums highlight why some material should just never see the light of day. Then again, Morrissey is not most artists. Since the fall of the Smiths in 1987, the British crooner has thrived, disappeared, and launched one of the greatest comebacks in rock ‘n’ roll history. Today, despite a mid-show collapse last month in Swindon, the 50-year-old continues to be a force to be reckoned with. On Swords, a collection of single b-sides dating back to 2004, Morrissey provides a fairly even smattering of somber ballads and upbeat, Brit rock throwbacks. While some tracks (like the guitar onslaught “Children in Pieces”) miss the mark, the winners (“Teenage Dad on His Estate”) more than make up for the gaffes, proving Morrissey still has a way with words that cut right to the core.

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