The Messenger review by Johnny Marr

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  • Released: Feb 25, 2013
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.7 (13 votes)
Johnny Marr: The Messenger

Sound — 8
Johnny Marr is one of alternative rock's most praised and experienced musicians still out on the music scene. Best known for his work as the lead guitarist for the short lived yet highly influential band called The Smiths, Johnny has wowed the ears of the alternative music world for the past 3 decades. Since his time with The Smiths, Johnny has come on to play and contribute to various Britpop style bands and musicians, such as Paul McCartney, The The, and Electronic. But for the first time ever in his career, Johnny Marr is going into bold new territory with his very first solo album. Titled "The Messenger", this renowned guitarist makes a bold impression throughout the entire new disc, which boasts some powerful indie rock style music that sounds as though it just came out of the '70s. We take a strengthy first look at the record with the album's self titled lead single, which bears some traditional Smiths sounding guitar licks and some crisp vocals, which somehow work together brilliant as to attribute to it's overall classic sound. It's definitely a grand first impression, and a powerful look inside what to expect from the rest of the disc.

Lyrics — 9
Johnny proves not to only be incredibly talented at playing the guitar, but also vocally on this solo album. Considering he was also the chief songwriter for similarly renowned British rock group Morrissey, it's barely a surprise that these songs sound as good as they are; however, time does affect great musicians' abilities, more often than not for the worst. However, Johnny Marr continues to come out on top throughout "The Messenger", which attributes to a great overall record and allows each track to gracefully flow to the next.

Overall Impression — 9
"The Messenger" proves to be an overall triumph for this renowned alt rock musician, with every song proudly showcasing an unignorable '70s feel, and the entire album gracefully flowing track by track. Even though every tune off the new record, there are some songs that stand out more than others; those being the pulsating title track, "Lockdown", and "Generate! Generate!". Any fan of Johnny's work in The Smiths, as well as the '70s style alternative rock musical styling, should definitely look into picking up this release for themselves.

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    I might get some hate for this - but in my opinion this album just didn't live up to the expectations I had - which perhaps foolish on my part to go in with expectations. I just feel that this work doesn't match the quality of the recent work he's put of with The Cribs, the old healers stuff, Modest Mouse and certainly doesn't reach the critical acclaim of The Smiths. Maybe it's a grower, I'll give it a few more listens.
    He's so cool. A guy in Youtube did a cover of The Messenger and he actually commented on him with a compliment.I kinda wanted to message him, total fanboy moment but I kept it together. I mean, the only other guy from bands that I love that posts as himself in Youtube (that I know of, at least) is Van from Screaming Trees.