The latest in a long line of stray track compilations that stretches all the way back to BONA DRAG, if not HATFUL OF HALLOW, 2009's SWORDS gathers up 18 highlights from the b-sides of singles from YOU ARE THE QUARRY, RINGLEADER OF THE TORMENTORS, and YEARS OF REFUSAL-- the three albums that constitute the great Moz comeback of the new millennium. Not all the flipsides are here, but all the noteworthy ones are, including a cameo from Chrissie Hynde on "Shame Is the Name," a cover of David Bowie's "Drive-In Saturday" with new lyrics all about the New York Dolls.
Spin (p.82) - "The mordant humor and camp sensibility never wavers, nor does the inimitable voice."
Billboard (p.32) - "[The songs] show the artist's continued creative stretch, from the staggered orchestral layers of 'The Never-Played Symphonies' to the ambient 'Sweetie-Pie'..."
Q (Magazine) (p.136) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "With his trademark mix of comedy, tragedy and self-pity still a match for anyone, SWORDS is a collection of buried B-sides dating back to 2004."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his, a collection of often preposterously-named B-sides from his past four albums, gets the thumps-up."
Uncut (magazine) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Morrissey's compilation demonstrates yet again the man's peculiarly quixotic muse."