Johnny Marr - The Messenger The Messenger… Marred by unoriginality

Review: Johnny Marr – The Messenger

Published on March 5th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Lofty expectations: rightly or wrongly, they’re unavoidable when you’ve been the guitarist of The Smiths. Even with a certain amount of detachment, though, Johnny Marr’s debut solo album The Messenger only just about passes muster in an energised yet ultimately prosaic, Miles Kane/The Rifles sort of way.

Opener “The Right Thing Right” pounds along satisfyingly enough on one of those “I Am the Resurrection”/”Rocks” sorts of beats – the crunchy guitars and melodic sensibility both hit the mark, anyway – but that same basic rhythm is applied to what feels like about half the album, with the other half handled by the sort of ‘indie-disco’ beat that bored Rocksucker ten years ago and still bores us now.

If you’re looking for relatively uncomplicated indie-rock with the odd unmistakable touch of class here and there, you’ll have come to the right place by nabbing a copy of this. Otherwise, you might find yourself tearing your hair out when the nice Pixies dissonance at the start of “Lockdown” and popping, Alex James-y bass “The Crack Up” fail to develop into anything particularly noteworthy and wind up mere fleeting moments of interest in a polished yet uninspiring set.

“European Me”, “Generate! Generate!” and “Word Starts Attack” are all more exciting titles than actual songs, and there’s really not a whole lot more to say about The Messenger. Sorry.

Rocksucker says: Two and a Half Quails out of Five!

a quaila quailhalf a quail

The Messenger is out now.  For more information, please visit


About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *