Much of this album is his freshest, boldest work yet.
Jaime Gill 2004
If the pedestrian rock and clumsy sloganeering of You Are The Quarry frustrated because it was so far from Morrissey at his best, then Ringleader... teases because it is so tantalisingly close. Yes, a couple of songs here are plodding and uninspired (see "On The Streets I Ran"), but much of this album is his freshest, boldest work yet.
The credit lies with producer Tony Visconti for opening Morrissey's musical horizons, and the nameless man who has opened his mind and legs - at least, if the sexual desperation of the gorgeous "Dear God, Please Help Me" is anything to go by. Just witness the awesome swamp rock of "I Will See You..." or the joyful military strut of "At Last I Am Born".
The album's highlight has to be the exquisite lament "Life Is A Pigsty", where Morrissey cries 'I can't reach you anymore!' The joy of Ringleader... is that it proves he still can.