Morrissey is the current poster child for career resurrection, '80s rock-star division -- and if issuing Live less than a year after the release of 2004's You Are the Quarry, his studio comeback, seems ill-advised, the set's quality more than justifies its existence. The album is both a satisfying musical retrospective and a persuasive declaration of continued relevance.
Also new in stores is Who Put the "M" in Manchester?, a live DVD that will smack any Morrissey obsessive's sweet spot. Still, Live is the better package. The song selection is wide-ranging and generous, with forceful renditions of Smiths faves like "How Soon Is Now?" sharing space with an intriguing cover of Patti Smith's "Redondo Beach" and Quarry material that, in these versions, seems every bit the measure of Morrissey's previous work. As a bonus, his voice is more full-bodied and distinctive than ever, and his eviscerating sense of humor remains intact, as when he introduces "I Have Forgiven Jesus" with the deadpan remark "I know it isn't mutual."
Maybe J.C. is still holding a grudge, but discs this pleasing compensate for plenty of sins.