No Jinx, Johnny Marr’s Playland

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I had the exact same experience with the new Buzzcock’s album as I did with Johnny Marr’s Playland . One might expect a lessening, a slacker set of strings and a more pensive, looking-back kind of feel to these late-career albums.  Not so.  Marr’s sophomore solo release, Playland, shows there’s no slackening in these eleven solid tunes.

Marr blazed into this sophomore album while touring his first solo release, 2013’s The Messenger.  In a Rolling Stone interview from July 13th 2014 Marr states, "I always liked bands' second albums"—including the excellent Buzzcocks’ Love Bites! And he has a point, there are lots of great second albums and Playland is certainly one of them. No sophomore jinx here.

The guitar on Playland is superb, with songs like “Speak Out Reach Out,” “Little King,” and “Playland” showing Marr in top form. The guitar work on Playland is more experimental—such as the final moments on the excellent “25 Hours”—than that on The Messenger, but both albums are great illustrations of Marr’s guitar playing and song writing.  Playland proves Marr may just be getting better.  “The Trap,” “Candidate,” and “Easy Money” (which sounds like it has to be a hit) are proof Marr should  be working on solo album number three.




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