Johnny Marr recently told The Guardian that The Smiths “invented indie.” I’m not so sure that he’s right about that, much less what that actually means.

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However I totally agree with the guitarist when he adds he made his first solo album, “The Messenger,” because he “felt something was missing from pop...When you hit it right on, guitars in pop, it can be vivacious and exuberant and shiny...If people say parts of the record sound like The Smiths, I’m OK with that, because hopefully it’s got the same exuberant.”


First single, “Upstarts,” is delightfully “exuberant,” jangly and reminiscent of early Who more than The Smiths. If you’re a fan of power pop, this one will put a pop in your step today.  The video premiered today.

“The Messenger” comes out Feb. 26.  Marr, who’s been busy playing with Modest Mouse and The Cribs and film work, produced the set, which he recorded in Manchester, England and Berlin