The surprising debut-album by Johnny Marr titled ‘The Messenger’ has been recently released. Considering Marr’s career spans many years of work, going back to the eighties with his work with The Smiths, and continuing after their dissolution, it surprises me that Marr hasn’t actually released a solo-album earlier in his career. It seems that most artists in well-known bands that have helped elevate the artists to celebrity status, end up releasing solo-albums at some point or another. So why has Marr decided to release one in 2013? And of course, is this solo-effort actually any good?
‘The Messenger’ is a rock-album, right at the core of it. It isn’t a particularly heavy album, but nor is it particularly light either. If one was to categorize it, perhaps ‘The Messenger’ is an alternative rock-album. There’s a fair amount to enjoy, with some impressive guitar riffs helping to build up the album. There’s a fair amount to enjoy on the album, as for the most part it doesn’t seem to lose much steam as it progresses through each song on the album. There’s enough pace in each of the songs to keep the music (for the most part) interesting.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with ‘The Messenger’ as an album. Musically it is fairly interesting, and even to a point lyrically it isn’t so bad. It’s just essentially an alternative-rock album, and whilst it does have a fair few strengths to it that can actually elevate it above other alternative rock albums, I do feel that perhaps this record could have been better than what it is. Considering how common solo-records can be in the music industry from well established bands, it surprises me that Marr has both decided to release one so late in his career, and made one that when you look beyond it’s layers of gloss, is actually nothing incredibly special. There’s a lot of technical greatness to the album, and it sounds well crafted as an album. But it seems that there’s nothing that is truly inspiring or truly impressive on the album. I feel that Marr is capable of producing much more than what is present on this album, and it is somewhat confusing why someone with such a well established career would choose to produce something along the lines of this.
‘The Messenger’ isn’t a bad album by any counts. There’s a fair amount to enjoy on the album, and perhaps it’s refreshing to see someone produce an album of this genre in such a way that is actually presented well. I just feel that Marr is capable of much more than what he has done on this album, and in that sense, the album is somewhat disappointing. It isn’t bad, it just doesn’t live up to much. It does make me wonder whether Marr is considering pursuing more solo-projects in the future, and if he does, whether he is planning on really making something of it, cause if he is, perhaps Marr will need to step up his game, and make a truly great record.
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