Johnny Marr, best known as the guitar player for The Smiths, whose hypnotic and intense sounds contributed to the success of that band and put them as one of the top of the New Wave heap during the 1980s, is releasing a solo album (his first) entitled The Messenger on February 26, 2013.
The Messenger is streaming online in full now and you can hear the full album right here below (via Rolling Stone).
Marr has also done stints in Modest Mouse, The The, and other bands, but it’s his work in The Smiths that he’s the best remembered and in which he made his mark. Employing a kind of single-note guitar playing with a cool ambiance throughout, he remains a high influence on musicians, and not just those in the New Wave and post-New Wave genre. Smiths frontman Morrissey’s songs, which were mostly about teenage angst on not a gnashing punk style, but more of a tender, aching sensitivity, were perfectly matched and meshed with Marr’s highly original guitar playing.
Now with The Messenger, the guitarsmith finds himself in new territory, while reaching into his 80s bag of tricks as well. “The Right Thing Right” starts like a panther out of the gate, instantly hitting the listener with an anthemic vibe, crisp, loud, and strong guitar work and Marr’s in-your-face assured vocals. The rest of the record seems to support the same approach, like the one-two-gallop of “European Me,” “I Want the Heartbeat” with its lean and muscular musicality, and “Generate, Generate” which takes The Cure styles and slingshots it to another level all together.
Have a listen to The Messenger for yourself and see why so many fans and critics still revere and trumpet the talents of Johnny Marr, and why they have done so for over thirty years.
Johnny Marr “The Messenger”
[Source via Rolling Stone]
In related news, the 23-song compilation The Sound Of The Smiths is available in MP3 format for only $5 this month, while Simon Goddard’s revised edition of Songs That Saved Your Life: The Art of The Smiths 1982-87, which provides details on every Smiths song, will be released in Paperback and Kindle on February 26, 2013 (look for our exclusive excerpts from the book soon!). The Smiths’ back catalog of studio albums is also on sale right now for $5.99 and under (see below).
The Smiths (1984)
Meat Is Murder (1985)
The Queen Is Dead (1986)
Strangeways, Here We Come (1987)
Louder Than Bombs (1987 – Compilation)
The Sound Of The Smiths (2001 – Compilation)