Every few years, Morrissey releases a new solo album and the hype returns. A return to form. The best album he's done since the Smiths. But after the propaganda settles, it becomes painfully clear that the Mozzer will never top his former band. During the '90s, Morrissey issued a string of dodgy efforts that rankled even the crooner's staunchest supporters. After a seven-year hiatus, he returns with the Jerry Finn-produced Quarry, which won't turn things around but easily ranks among his stronger post-Smiths works. Ardent fans will thrill to the wealth of patented Morrisseyisms. She told me she loved me/Which means she must be insane rings the opening salvo of "How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel," a rocking ditty buoyed by slashing guitars and a stomping beat. "America Is Not the World" is a dreamy critique of the United States (Morrissey resides in Los Angeles) that's fairly lightweight politically -- its primary complaint is that America invented the hamburger and consumes too many of them, a softball from the man who once sang meat is murder through gritted teeth. As always, epic ballads abound, including the violin-drenched "Come Back to Camden" and "Let Me Kiss You," which ranks among Quarry's finest offerings.