“While it isn't a gutsy rock & roll record like Your Arsenal, Vauxhall and I is equally impressive. Filled with carefully constructed guitar pop gems, the album contains some of Morrissey’s best material since the Smiths.” STE It “represents Morrissey at his most mature and reflects the course his life has taken. With its blend of guitar rock, largely acoustic ballads, and wry classic rock, Vauxhall and I stands in stark contrast to Morrissey’s other work.” WK “Out of all of his solo albums, Vauxhall and I sounds the most like his former band, yet the textured, ringing guitar on this record is an extension of his past, not a replication of it.” STE “It is distinguished by its ironic and introspective nature as well as its sombre and emotional mood.” WK
“The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get, Speedway, and Spring-Heeled Jim prove that he hasn’t lost his vicious wit.” STE “Closer I Get” was the closest Morrissey ever came to a hit in the U.S. – the song just missed the top 40 on the pop charts. Like many of his hits before, however, it was a success on the modern rock charts giving him his ninth top 10 and second #1 on that chart.
Elsewhere, “Morrissey encourages the listener to think about their life and friendships. In Hold on to Your Friends, we are reminded of the power of friendship.” WK On that and Now My Heart Is Full, “Morrissey sounds more comfortable and peaceful than he ever has.” STE “By contrast, in Why Don’t You Find Out for Yourself, we are urged to beware of other people using us for their own benefit.” WK
“Morrissey had also recently suffered the loss of three people close to him: Mick Ronson, Tim Broad, and Nigel Thomas, which may have had the cumulative effect of giving Vauxhall and I somewhat of a funereal feel. Indeed, just two years later Morrissey acknowledged that he felt at the time that this was going to be his last album, and that not only was it the best album he’d ever made but that he would never be able to top it in the future.” WK
“Steve Lilywhite’s production style is a marked departure from that of his predecessor on Your Arsenal, Mick Ronson. Vauxhall & I has a pared-down, sparser, more ethereal and at times dream-like character.” WK “The album’s title appears to be a reference to the 1987 film, Withnail and I. Vauxhall is an area of London, and there is also a British car manufacturer of the same name.” WK