Morrissey has long eschewed traditional pop optimism, opting instead to champion malcontents, outsiders, and giving the establishment the finger. The former Smiths frontman hasn't softened with age. At 54, he just released the title track for his forthcoming album, "World Peace Is None of Your Business," and it's as scathing and nihilistic as its title suggests.
As a teaser for the single and the album, Moz also dropped a spoken-word video for the song, starring Nancy Sinatra. In the clip, the singer tickles the ivories as he dramatically reads the song's politically charged lyrics:
"World peace is none of your business
You must not tamper with arrangements
Work hard and simply pay your taxes
Never asking what for
Oh your poor little fool, you poor little fool
World peace is none of your business
The police will stun you with their stun guns or they'll disable you with their tasers, that's what governments are for."
Sinatra appears, looking like a glamorous secret agent, and delivers a case to Morrissey containing the tune's hand-written lyrics atop a bed of white flowers.
In the song, which is available on iTunes as a download, Morrissey chants, "Each time you vote you support the process" and ends by saying, "No more, you poor little fool."
While it's refreshing for a pop artist to intelligently take on the establishment and get vehemently political in an age in which most pop singers would rather croon about how they found or lost love and their plans for Saturday night, it would be much more powerful if Moz actually offered up some solutions to society's ills or a gave us rousing call to action. Then again, Morrissey's self-appointed job has always been to bemoan the state of affairs with witty, tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and he's never claimed to have the answers. And that's okay — it is pop music after all.
"World Peace Is None of Your Business" is due to be released July 15.