Johnny Marr - Call The Comet

Four years have gone by since Marr's last solo album 'Playland' was released. With its predecessor 'The Messenger' only a year before that, the four years allowed for what he had achieved to sink in. They were an eclectic riff laden pair of post-punk inspired albums. Marr's roots were laid bare whilst not treading on the memories of the beloved Smiths.

'Call The Comet' however, at times, overtly retreads his Smiths days. At a point where Morrissey politically alienates Smiths fans, Marr's timing, as ever, is impeccable. He discussed with both Shaun Keaveny and John Kennedy how 'Hi Hello' was a result of sitting on his bed playing guitar like his pre-smiths teenage self. There is more than a hint of 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' about this single. Asarchetypal melancholic tropes fuse with emotive guitar licks, Marr has reclaimed the Smiths legacy for fans who are tired of having to defend Morrissey.

For anyone wanting to bridge The Smiths to Marr's solo career to friends, 'Day In Day Out' is perfect. The acoustic guitar will conjure the heady days of 'William It Was Really Nothing' before his psyche enthused jangle attacks the senses like 'The Right Thing Right' (The Messenger) and '25 Hours' (Playland).

On 'Hey Angel', that rarest of Marr things emanates from his guitar, the rock star solo. Another familiar post punk dystopian landscape is intersected with a crushing solo. It's ridden with such rage and immediacy, over the top could never be levelled at it.

Timing is everything in music. Had his former best friend not aligned himself with the far right this year, and not delivered another average album, 'Call The Comet' would have been just the third good album. In context, it has become a genuine moment for alternative music souls.

The only question left to ask is, what's next? Is there space for another helping? Of course there is but, Marr, so intrinsically linked with exploration may have to rip up the rule book once more.