The Messenger - Johnny Marr
The Messenger Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Smiths' guitarist wrote and produced his debut solo release.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. 83
    His generically Oasis-y singing won't blow anyone away, but Marr's still a master at getting jangly new-wave energy and moody atmosphere out of his instrument. [1 Mar 2013, p.66]
  2. Feb 25, 2013
    One quick listen to The Messenger brings all his signatures rushing back--the intricate, intertwining arrangements, the insistent riffs finding a counterpoint in the elastic yet precise melodies, a romance with the past that doesn't negate the present.
  3. Nov 7, 2013
    The Messenger rediscovers what made the Smiths' albums great--an open-minded approach to tone and a feel that colors tunes for miles.
  4. Feb 25, 2013
    While lukewarm as a whole, The Messenger doesn't suck nearly enough to bruise Marr's status as a guitar deity on wheels.
  5. Mar 8, 2013
    The lyrical flaws are not a fatal stab, but it’s an enormous burden.
  6. Feb 25, 2013
    The [emotional] connection is missing because of The Messenger's overarching weaknesses: the voice and the lyrics.
  7. Feb 7, 2013
    An album that manages to sound like a blend of every Britpop and Madchester also-ran's 50 shades of beige. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.88]

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. a69
    Apr 30, 2013
    Tip top spot of Indie Rock. Has shades of The Jam and New Order about it in places. Doesn't break much new ground, but I wouldn't expect a 50 year old to do so. Does what you'd want t to do and delivers the goods. Expand
  2. Jan 31, 2014
    A lot of sniffy cynicism in the main musical press for this album and I'm mystified. This is a fine piece of work with riffs and hooks only Johnny could lay down. Listen, Don Van Vliet in the power vocal department he ain't but neither was Jimi Hendrix or Bert Jansch. The guy's unique ability with the guitar overrides any lack of octaves in his voice. Anyway his voice is great on this record. Another critique from the press is the lyrics. Is this because they were hoping for some Morriseyesque whimsical poetry? Had this record been released by a trendy new outfit of 19 year olds the hacks would be raving with 5 stars. Collapse