Album review: The Messenger - Johnny Marr

JAMES BELFIELD
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2013
The Messenger - Johnny Marr
The Messenger - Johnny Marr

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THE MESSENGER
Johnny Marr
(Southbound)

From that first tumble of jangly Rickenbacher, it's clear that Johnny Marr (who recently announced he and that charming man Morrissey "invented indie as we know it") is back in his favourite playground.

Having spent the best part of a decade in Portland, Oregon, and adding his panache to Modest Mouse and The Cribs, he headed back to Manchester to soak up some of that drizzle and inspiration.

The result sits so close to over-indulgent nostalgic New Wave as to make you want to go and find patches for your cut-off denim jacket - but this is Marr's first foray into solo album-hood and so he's crafted his undoubted guitar genius around his until now under-used vocals... that it sounds like timeless Mancunian indie pop is simply proof that the 49-year-old has it running through his veins.

Marr told Rolling Stone that he wanted to channel the Stooges' James Williamson, Pentangle's Bert Jansch and Chic's Nile Rodgers.

If this is what the old satanic mills can conjure, maybe it's time to go back to Manchester.

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