EW Staff
January 23, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

With ’80s alt-rock deities like the Cure surfacing as key influences on today’s trendiest bands, now is a great time for Morrissey to reclaim his throne. Too bad mope-rock’s maudlin master wants no part of it. ”I don’t feel of the ’80s,” he says. ”Or of [anytime] else.” — On his first CD in seven years, You Are the Quarry, the former Smiths frontman tapped producer Jerry Finn (blink-182, Green Day) for what Morrissey describes as a ”richer, more listenable” album with ”lots more hooks.” And the song titles look promising: ”America Is Not the World” and ”The World Is Full of Crashing Bores” suggest the Brit hasn’t lost his biting wit. Noticeably missing, however, are collaborations with any of his many young musician fans. ”I’m not the kind of person you jam with,” says the famously antisocial singer. ”I still stand alone. Which is to everyone’s benefit, I think.” (April)

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