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The Messenger

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One of the most distinctive guitarists of the '80s, Johnny Marr provided the perfect counterpoint to Morrissey's lyrical skirmishes in The Smiths. Afterward, Marr spent decades starting projects and getting involved in others, enjoying himself every step of the way. In 2013, he put out the first album credited entirely to himself alone. For someone who'd shied from the spotlight for so long, he sounds completely at ease leading himself through immediate rockers like "The Right Thing Right," "I Want the Heartbeat," and "Lockdown," where his songwriting makes up for whatever shortcomings his surprisingly decent voice brings to the material. You get the feeling that this album could've come together just as The Smiths expired. It plays like an album designed for college radio and alternative rock stations circa 1988, and—no surprise—it's heavy on weaving electric guitars. The lush atmospherics of "European Me" recall what could have been track from that fifth Smiths album, which never came. "Upstarts" chimes like the perfect three-and-a-half-minute single. Who needs Morrissey after all?

Customer Reviews

Excuse me but.....

Johnny Marr was rocking in the Paris Valentino's at age 13.......long before Jack White was even born. No comparison.

The dude is almost 50 and is a GREAT guitarist.......period.

It's a ripoff of Marr ripping off Marr :)

Jack White? Please. Marr knows his craft and lays down some great pop tracks. This is the album he should have made years ago. The vocals aren't exquisite but they suit him and the tunes. Looking forward to a 2nd album already.

Jack White Rip Off?

Strange considering Johnny Marr has been around since Jack White was in diapers. The sound screams Johnny Marr without taking from The Smiths. Its great. Listen to Upstart, its a great starter song. It's catchy, its modern and I am always impressed with Mr. Marr


Born: October 31, 1963 in Manchester, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The supple, ringing guitars of Johnny Marr helped establish the Smiths among the most acclaimed and enduring bands of the 1980s. Born John Maher in Manchester, England, on October 31, 1963, he played in such little-known groups as Sister Ray and Freaky Party before forming the Smiths with singer Morrissey in 1982. In the years to follow they emerged among Britain's most successful acts, but in 1987, following sessions for the LP Strangeways, Here We Come, Marr dissolved the group, claiming their...
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The Messenger, Johnny Marr
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