ALBUM: Johnny Marr ‘Playland’

Think Johnny Marr and glittery star-studded riffs will come to mind. He’s dipped in and out of more projects than you could think of but with the release of his follow-up record Playland, Marr’s found himself a play safe formula that can never go wrong. Husky vocals outweighed by self-confident melodies run all the way through with only a few tracks thrown in breaking the pattern. ‘Easy Money’ sees the return of the sly digs at the guys up top and the charming sound of The Smiths whilst sun-kissed ‘The Trap’ takes things down a level with a more romantic approach and for once, sees the accompaniment take a backseat with some low-key synths added to the mix. Joining Johnny’s cool guy image are his backing band who stumble back to the 80s again for title track ‘Playland’, once again perfecting the Marr way without fault making the album sound almost anthemic as it draws to an end. Leaving behind the days of Moz dystopia, Little King ends things big, reverberating the playful sound of Playland. He’s made a grower with the first listen making you question whether he’s set sights on the middle of the road but once you’ve passed the jazzed up riffs and cool-cut lyrics, Marr’s on to a winner.

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