Album: Johnny Marr, The Messenger (Warner Bros)

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The Independent Culture

It's hard to believe this is Marr's first solo album, perhaps because he's played with so many bands since sealing his signature, chiming guitar sound with The Smiths.

That's back in full evidence here, from the spiralling progressions of the title track to the pealing, sugar-shimmer of "European Me" to niggling, urgent riffs on "Generate! Generate!" He's not breaking any moulds – it's solid, guitar led, pop-rock – but then Marr is the man for that job.

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