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2013 Year End Music Reviews – Johnny Marr – The Messenger

I wanted to like this, because, come on, it’s new music by Johnny Marr! Instead, screechy guitars, mixed too loudly. Maybe if there were better vocals, interesting lyrics, or less bombastic production? But there isn’t, and this is pretty generic Brit-Pop, disposable.

Johnny Marr – The Messenger

Rating: C

I wanted to like this, because, come on, it’s new music by Johnny Marr! Instead, screechy guitars, mixed too loudly. Maybe if there were better vocals, or interesting lyrics, or less bombastic production? But there isn’t, and this is fairly generic Brit-Pop, disposable, forgettable. 

Steve Hyden on the legend aspect…

Declaring a man to be a “god-like genius” several months shy of his 5oth birthday implies he has no more worlds left to conquer. It’s been like this for Johnny Marr since before his 25th birthday, when he co-wrote a couple dozen perfect pop songs with Morrissey and then departed for a series of celebrity rocker odd jobs in other people’s bands (including Modest Mouse, the Pretenders, Talking Heads, and Pet Shop Boys). To say Marr ran up the score on his legacy with the Smiths, and has been treading water ever since, would be reductive. But Marr has been playing with house money for as long as many of today’s indie-poppers chasing “Hand in Glove” and “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” have been alive. Johnny Marr is an institution now.

(click here to continue reading Johnny Marr: The Messenger | Album Reviews | Pitchfork.)

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