Johnny Marr's new album - post your own review/thoughts here

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Anonymous

Guest
I bought the first Marr album (Messengers) after rave reviews.
Really liked 3 or 4 songs - the rest wasn't great at all. Would give it a 6/10.
I bought the second one as even better reviews but thought it was pretty awful.
One fairly decent song (the single Money Money), the rest was just hard work. Weak melodies, bad lyrics, bland singing.
The consensus seems to be that the new one is his best yet although, for me, that wouldn't be saying much.
There's a lot of love for JM these days, especially given the way Steve Morrissey's been acting. If you ever loved the Smiths, you'd probably want to direct those feelings more towards Marr than Steve.
I reckon this has an impact on reviews i.e. that they are probably very generous to what isn't actually a great album. Interested to hear what people think of it who've now heard it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
His best record for sure. New Demensions and Bug don’t do it for me but the rest of the songs are solid. I️ especially like Day In Day Out, Spiral Cities, Hi Hello and Actor Attractor. Overall a very diverse album that still manages to sound cohesive. I️ am really glad he’s writing and releasing stuff like this.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I bought the first Marr album (Messengers) after rave reviews.
Really liked 3 or 4 songs - the rest wasn't great at all. Would give it a 6/10.
I bought the second one as even better reviews but thought it was pretty awful.
One fairly decent song (the single Money Money), the rest was just hard work. Weak melodies, bad lyrics, bland singing.
The consensus seems to be that the new one is his best yet although, for me, that wouldn't be saying much.
There's a lot of love for JM these days, especially given the way Steve Morrissey's been acting. If you ever loved the Smiths, you'd probably want to direct those feelings more towards Marr than Steve.
I reckon this has an impact on reviews i.e. that they are probably very generous to what isn't actually a great album. Interested to hear what people think of it who've now heard it.
I kinda feel similar to you aboutnpast albums. The messenger I’d give a theee and a half out of five as I thought it had some nice guitar work in spots and playland I’d give a three out of five as I thought it boring. It didn’t offend but even the guitar work I liked on the messenger seemed in short supply. I’d give the call the comet a four. His singing voice and use of it has improved as he kinda works more inside his limitations. The vocal melodies create a lot more atmosphere rather than just being there like on previous releases. The guitar on a lot of the songs is really pleasing and the style as some have said harks back to bands of the eighties I like such as echo and the bunnymen and house of love. In short it’s a nice album to put on in the background or on a drive. The lyrics are just kinda meh and don’t really demand my attention but the music is pretty catchy and unique in spots. Mostly this really sorta makes me yearn for something like electronic. I’d like to see him work with a frontman on an original price object as a duo with someone
 

Orson Swells

Well-Known Member
For all the glowing reviews saying this album is Marr keeping the legacy of the Smiths alive, well, I'm not sure spouting bland platitudes was what the Smiths were about. There is none of the Smiths edginess here and nothing to confront or confound the listener. Yes, Marr sounds slick and professional but the lyrics are his usual brand of Noel Gallagher-lite. This is supposedly a concept album about some semi-utopian airy-fairy alternate society, but you wouldn't know it if Johnny hadn't mentioned it earlier.

Musically, it's all pleasant enough, of course - a handful of clunkers aside - but ultimately undemanding and inoffensive; in the age of Ed Sheerin this perhaps passes as greatness. There are strong echoes of 80s bands here and there: the Cure, Big Country, House of Love, etc, etc. which seems strange when Marr's own band in the 80s was far superior to the ones he is now aping. Still, it's a decent listen, if surprisingly mainstream, ultimately bereft of memorable melodies, and lyrically lacking in anything of genuine substance to say.

I'd give it 6/10.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I really love this album. The opener Rise is incredible - the combination of the words and music on the chorus is epic. Hi Hello isn't the best song on the album, it's A Different Gun which wouldn't sound out of place on U2's Joshua Tree.

I hear lots of touches of Magazine, Echo and the Bunnymen, Ultravox and Sisters of Mercy. The darker side of 1980's pop. Another highlight for me is Hey Angel, seductive with wiry guitars. When I woke up this morning, that's the song I played three times through.

Walk into the Sea, Actor Attractor, Spiral Cities - lots of great songs that I know I will listen to obsessively over the coming weeks.

9/10
 

NealCassidy

Well-Known Member
5/10
 
V

vegan.cro spirit# 287

Guest
A total catastrophedoh:
All songs sound the same, impossible to get through the whole thing.:banned:
 
F

firstodie

Guest
I like the album and there'll be plenty for me to pick at for a good time, it's quite meaty. Sonny sings on two tracks which is nice. I can't imagine what it would be like to have Johnny as my dad.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This review (Boston Globe) sums up my worst fears (I started this thread):

"Let’s start here: Johnny Marr is one of the most important guitarists of all time, plain and simple. He was only 23 when the Smiths disbanded in 1987, but in that brief, glorious time, he helped define post-punk as we know it and cemented his legacy as one of rock’s greatest sidemen.

But that’s the key word: sidemen. Marr is seemingly at his best when he has other creative minds to work with, offering acts from Talking Heads to Modest Mouse a signature musical service only he can provide. But as a solo artist, Marr the frontman has only been able to produce groggy rehashes of old Brit-rock tropes he helped create three decades ago.

Marr’s latest, “Call the Comet,” out Friday, is hampered by the same issues that plagued his previous two solo albums, featuring surprisingly dull hooks and lackluster vocals hobbled together by flat production that reduces Marr’s guitarwork into walls of noise. Lead single “The Tracers” relies too heavily on “woo-woos” and “oohs” to leave an impression, exemplifying how Marr isn’t the greatest lyricist to begin with. “Hey Angel,” which aims for “macho headbanger” but lands closer to “weekend dad-rock jam,” lacks the dynamic range to justify its near six-minute duration.

Songcraft is a problem throughout the album’s 12 bloated tracks, but the fact that they’re long isn’t the issue — Marr can, and has, held our attention before. It’s more that they lack conviction and structure. Tracks like “Walk Into the Sea” and “Bug” both start out as atmospheric and promising, but lose their appeal when it becomes clear that Marr and his band are just meandering around the same ideas over and over again until they eventually run out of gas.

The one near-redeeming song might be “Hi Hello,” whose chime-y groove sounds the closest Marr has come to his Smiths’ days in years — but it’s perhaps a little too close, considering that he generously borrows the strings riff from “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.” Couple that with the fact he also blatantly lifts a hook from New Order’s “Blue Monday” in the ho-hum “Actor Attractor,” and it’s hard to view the songwriting on this album as anything other than lazy and disappointing.

“Call the Comet” might be a passable album if it was the work of a young band eagerly finding its feet, but this isn’t a young band. This is an artist who inspired guitarists in some of those bands to pick up their instruments in the first place. Now it seems like he could use some inspiration himself. "
 
Call The Comet is about a place called "Johnny Town", were you can escape from the strains of the day and introspectively assimilate new ways to radiate.
Unfortunately there don't seem to be any Turkeys involved, so I'll have to stay in a shack on the outskirts of "Johnny Town" and bump Low In High School.
 
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