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All-time-great guitarist proves he needs a frontman

Johnny Marr Playland

Johnny Marr

Jon Shard

Johnny Marr is one of rock's great accompanists. Filled with wicked guitar salvos and shiny, barbed hooks, his latest solo project is a reminder of how many bands have made careers jacking his sound. This is the true article: Flashbacks of the Smiths abound, and Marr's slitheringly serrated lines on Modest Mouse's great 2007 hit ''Dashboard'' are echoed here on ''Easy Money.'' But by the 14th repetition of the phrase ''money money,'' you recall that his earlier bands' greatness involved upending lyrical clichés, which this set doesn't. Marr’s singing is nice enough (check ''The Trap''). His most compelling voice, inevitably, remains his guitar.

In This Article: Johnny Marr


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