It’s been a few years since Johnny Marr’s last solo studio album. Now he’s come back with a bang thanks to Call The Comet. Contrast this with Morrissey’s damp squib of Low In High School last year and it’s clear to see which Smith is having a better 2018.

Clocking in at 57 minutes, it’s not a light and breezy listen but is easily Marr’s best solo offering to date albeit heavier than his previous albums The Messenger and Playland.

It starts off with strong guitar work in ‘Rise’, leading you into the album before his vocals kick in. For an artist who never really sang until this decade, his voice is superb and it’s hard to see why he didn’t start his solo career earlier.

Admittedly, the singles are much more ‘radio-friendly’ than the rest of the album, with ‘The Tracers’ and ‘Hi Hello’ being faster paced, but it works as a nice contrast to the other tracks.

Sandwiched between those two is the lengthy (five and a half minute long) ‘Hey Angel’, which has a wonderful rhythm to it and helps keep it fresh to the ear. It’s a bold choice to stick a song that long on the record, but it pays off.

That being said, there are a number of songs of a similar duration, including ‘Walk Into The Sea’ (six minutes) and ‘Actor Attractor’. Compare those to ‘My Eternal’, which clocks in at just three minutes, and is much quicker at building up the energy in contrast to some of the slower, more melodic tracks on the album. The combination of different sounds works really well, making this an impressive hour of music.

The album draws to a close  with a typically long track – ‘A Different Gun’ – which has a warm and inviting sound, the perfect way to end the record.

Marr can be proud of himself for the work he’s done here.He’s ensured that Morrissey, as expected, is now firmly in his shadow.. He is  already one of the best guitar players in history but coupling this skill with his great voice is really impressive.

4/5

Image Credit: Flickr: user, Man Alive!

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