2 Songs, 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never one to rest on his laurels, Johnny Marr has always kept his fretting hand on the pulse of the pop scene. Following his tenure as guitarist for The Smiths, Marr contributed his six-string skills to Electronic (with Bernard Sumner), The The, Modest Mouse, and The Cribs. His solo debut album, The Messenger, finally arrived in 2013, just eight months before his 50th birthday. "Upstarts" is the album’s first single, and right from the infectious opening riff it’s evident that Marr has absorbed his life’s work. The track swirls his familiar guitar tones with a demure singing style inspired by Sumner’s similar approach. And the song's easily as catchy as anything on The The’s top shelf. But this is balanced with a complex angularity in the arrangements that might not have happened if he hadn't spent time in Modest Mouse. Marr touches on his long alt-rock career with his lyrics: ”The underground is overground/The overground will pull you down." Exclusive to this single, the b-side “Psychic Beginner” jangles like The Smiths reincarnate before Marr’s singing deflects any possible Morrissey comparisons.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Never one to rest on his laurels, Johnny Marr has always kept his fretting hand on the pulse of the pop scene. Following his tenure as guitarist for The Smiths, Marr contributed his six-string skills to Electronic (with Bernard Sumner), The The, Modest Mouse, and The Cribs. His solo debut album, The Messenger, finally arrived in 2013, just eight months before his 50th birthday. "Upstarts" is the album’s first single, and right from the infectious opening riff it’s evident that Marr has absorbed his life’s work. The track swirls his familiar guitar tones with a demure singing style inspired by Sumner’s similar approach. And the song's easily as catchy as anything on The The’s top shelf. But this is balanced with a complex angularity in the arrangements that might not have happened if he hadn't spent time in Modest Mouse. Marr touches on his long alt-rock career with his lyrics: ”The underground is overground/The overground will pull you down." Exclusive to this single, the b-side “Psychic Beginner” jangles like The Smiths reincarnate before Marr’s singing deflects any possible Morrissey comparisons.

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