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Johnny Marr - The Messenger

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 12 / 1 / 2013

Johnny Marr - The Messenger
Label: Warner Bros
Format: CDS


Fantastic first ever solo single from former Smiths guitarist, Johnny Marr

'The Messenger' is the first ever solo single from Johnny Marr from the album of the same name. It was released as a single a week before Christmas, with an album of the same name due to follow on the 25th February. This is enough to get Smiths fans very excited indeed, as Johnny Marr was, of course, their guitarist. He was also the best ever guitarist ever to come from Manchester. Morrissey would have done okay without him, but with Marr he got that extra piece of magic. In addition to being the musical director of the Smiths he afterwards joined The The, Electronic which also featured Bernard Sumner from New Order, and stepped in and joined the Pretenders, sadly only recording one 7 inch and also a a cover of 'Lust for Life' with the latter band. In recent years, he joined Modest Mouse, Crowded House (touring with Neil Finn and also co-writing some of the songs on their most recent album) and also joined the Cribs. He also fronted the Healers, but all of this is now in the past. The actual song opens with the jangle that could only be by Johnny Marr. The actual rhythm reminds me of R.E.M's 'The One I Love', but is more rocky and much more dancable. His vocal has a trippy quality. This is a song to get into your head, and stay there. Yes, it does sound a tad bit 80s but who cares? The guitar is so perfect, drifting in and out in sharp and soft attacks on your ears, and he is backed in this by the best rhythm section since the Smiths. Marr was a hero back then and remains so now. I can't wait to hear the album now.

Track Listing:-
1 The Right Thing Right
2 I Want The Heartbeat
3 European Me
4 Upstarts
5 Lockdown
6 The Messenger
7 Generate! Generate!
8 Say Demesne
9 Sun & Moon
10 The Crack Up
11 New Town Velocity
12 Word Starts Attack

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live reviews

Institute, Birmingham, 16/3/2013
Johnny Marr - Institute, Birmingham, 16/3/2013
Anthony Strutt watches former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr at the Institute in Birmingham play a stunning show on his first tour under his own name to promote 'The Messenger', which is his debut solo album

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