Stream: Johnny Marr, ‘The Messenger’ — ex-Smiths guitarist’s new solo album

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Anonymous

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http://www.rollingstone.com/music/n...nd-with-the-messenger-album-premiere-20130218

Johnny Marr Breaks Solo Ground With 'The Messenger' - Album Premiere
Guitarist of the Smiths channels Brit-pop in first independent record

February 18, 2013 12:00 AM ET

Johnny Marr has had quite a career with the Smiths, Modest Mouse, the Cribs, The The and more, but his solo debut has been a long time coming. On February 26th, the guitarist will release his first solo album, The Messenger; it's filled with Brit-pop melodies and reverbed post-punk jangles. "European Me" shimmers with guitars and bobs with a swaying snare beat, and "Generate! Generate!" barrels through with luminous textures and Marr's unstrained vocals. "New Town Velocity" slows things down in lush, meandering pop.

Marr also splatters sharp, aggressive riffing and neck-breakers throughout The Messenger, giving the album a varied pace and many different slices of Marr's songwriting. "I Want the Heartbeat" burns with angular, scorching guitars, while "Sun and Moon" is a good ol' garage-rocker that will loosen some screws.

"This record is a little more rooted in the New Wave shows I used to sneak in to see when I left school – not directly, but in terms of the energy, the shadow of the memory of that," Marr told Rolling Stone in November. It may have taken awhile, but it's never too late to release your first album – especially when you're as good as Johnny Marr.
 

Pokey

Member
Album has already leaked ... I guess I'm a bit disappointed because I had really high hopes for it. I know Johnny isn't a singer and the lyrics were never going to be incredible, so I wasn't expecting that ... I was just expecting really nicely crafted pop songs. And to its credit, there are some really great songs on the album. But what lets it down is the production, it's muffled and muddy and things get lost in the mix. That excellent riff in European Me is almost wasted, its there but its just not given a chance to really shine. I actually think the radio studio version of New Town Velocity is better than the album version for the same reason, the delicate beautiful riff that JM created is just kind of muffled up.

Certainly not a bad album, and leaps and bounds better than Boomslang, will take a few more listens.
 
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Anonymous

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The Messenger Is Streaming On Rolling Stone and The Guardian's websites

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/n...nd-with-the-messenger-album-premiere-20130218

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2013/feb/18/johnny-marr-messenger-stream


European Me, Lockdown, The Messenger, Generate Generate, New Town Velocity are all excellent and stand out on the first listen. There isn't a bad track on the album though "some tracks are blander than others", and the lyrics are creaky but it's totally solid. Makes up for the first Healers album big time. 7.5 out of 10.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Album has already leaked ... I guess I'm a bit disappointed because I had really high hopes for it. I know Johnny isn't a singer and the lyrics were never going to be incredible, so I wasn't expecting that ... I was just expecting really nicely crafted pop songs. And to its credit, there are some really great songs on the album. But what lets it down is the production, it's muffled and muddy and things get lost in the mix. That excellent riff in European Me is almost wasted, its there but its just not given a chance to really shine. I actually think the radio studio version of New Town Velocity is better than the album version for the same reason, the delicate beautiful riff that JM created is just kind of muffled up.

Certainly not a bad album, and leaps and bounds better than Boomslang, will take a few more listens.
I agree with European Me, the live version is better, the backing vocals bury the riff during the chorus; and with Sun And Moon he took out my favorite part of that song which starts here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=B9vs7ll7waA#t=211s He turned a song that was an 8 into a 6 by removing that part.

Still a very good album, at least as good as Morrissey's past 3 albums. Too bad it took him this long to get the guts to make it.
 

Uncleskinny

It's all good
Subscriber
Well I love it.

Did anyone else listen to the start of New Town Velocity and hear The Corr's 'Radio'?

P.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
That audio clip is horrible.
The audio is awful and he is off-key, but the that frenetic shouting melody is really cool. You have to listening beyond what you hear and instead to what it would've sounded like on the album. He was off-key on the live New Town Velocity but I still recognized it was an excellent song.
 

Johnny Barleycorn

Well-Known Member
It appears to be a lot harder to listen to than it was to make.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I had this playing in the background while working. It was almost forgettable. Nothing prompted me to want to repeat a track and listen again. I didn't listen close to hear if there are some gems in the lyrics; there may be but the music didn't bring me to want to listen that closely.
Marr's vocals made me think of songs from 60's for some reason; don't know what songs or why but that was the thought that came to mind.
Some guitar parts seemed to be repeatedly played within a song for no reason other than just because, and if not, the song would have been to short.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I really like this album.

I've listened to it 6 times already. I'd say about half the tracks go on a little too long. My favorite track by far is Lockdown, it sounds like like a cross between Your Arsenal, and Pyromania-era Def Leppard. A sleazy glam rocker that I never thought Johnny would ever write.

And yes, the lyrics are trite as all get out, but everything has a fun energy about it, and this collection of songs and production and lyrics really hearken back to 81, and that was what he was going for. This would sit alongside and great new wave album of it's era, but it's not a classic, no.
 

Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
The audio is awful and he is off-key, but the that frenetic shouting melody is really cool. You have to listening beyond what you hear and instead to what it would've sounded like on the album. He was off-key on the live New Town Velocity but I still recognized it was an excellent song.
It reminds me of a part from Bowie's Queen Bitch - 1:40-1.55 here, and 2.40-55.


Johnny was jamming Queen Bitch last summer just before he started recording the album, so I guess it's not surprising, but I thought it was pretty cool. With the Johnny track though, it sounds like he's deliberately making the vocals hard to distinguish in order to mask insecurities about his voice.
 
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Amy

from the Ice Age to the dole age
I was planning on waiting until the CD arrived in the post, but I couldn't resist so I've just listened to the full streaming. What happened to European Me? :straightface: I could barely distinguish one song from the other and the lyrics are non-existent. The only one that really stood out for me was New Town Velocity - gorgeous melody let down by weak, dull vocals.
 
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