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The Messenger by Johnny Marr
Released: Feb 2013
Label: Sire Records
It's impossible to determine whether Marr intended to make a classic-sounding Brit-rock album, or if it's just that the legendary guitarist is classic-sounding Brit-rock incarnate. Either way, The Messenger has it all, from '80s jangle over Motown bop ("The Right Thing Right") to this-town's-closing-in-on-me melancholy ("Lockdown") to Manchester dance-rock ("Word Starts Attack"). The music's easy proficiency suggests that the guy can compose this stuff in his sleep; still, this has more verve than anything Morrissey has released in the 21st century.
Justin Farrar
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